How do we use our language? II

Another fascinating point: when we express opinion, many times we do it in third person:

We should seek to reform our education system
We can’t say that climate change is causing extreme weather

These are phrases I have taken from some columnists from the New York Times.

According to Coaching, using the third person means “I’m not responsible for what I say” and besides, you are involving people who might not think the same way as you. In the first case, “We should seek to reform our education system”, maybe there are people who think the education system is fine and does not need to be changed. We can’t generalize, we can’t speak for others.

Another example, more daily:

A child, accidentally, drops a glass. S/he says: “it felt”. S/he wants to say it’s not her/his fault by blaming the glass.

All of this makes sense to me, but I have found a contradictory point of view. Recently I have seen a video where David Logan (co-founder and senior partner of CultureSync) talks about tribal leadership. He divides society in 5 different tribes-stages:

  • Stage 1: Life sucks
  • Stage 2: My life sucks
  • Stage 3: I’m great
  • Stage 4: We are great
  • Stage 5: Life is great

As an example of Stage 3, he points out the famous sentence from M. L. King: “I have a dream” what places him in a narcisist tribe.

BUT, accordingly to Coaching, M. L. King is taking responsability. If he had said: “We have a dream” maybe he would have been including people who didn’t.

The line that separates narcissism from responsability in these cases is very thin.

What do you think?


3 comentarios sobre “How do we use our language? II

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  1. Congrats for your blog! Really nice article that makes me think a lot too.
    Here is how it make sense to me. Maybe M.L. King wasn’t a narcissist, or even more, maybe he wasn’t in level 3 (I’m great!). But here is the point, according to David Logan, a great leader must be able to talk to all levels, and the magic is that you have to talk from a level above or below from where the tribe is. This means that M. L. King, placed himself in level 3 (I’m great) to talk to people in level 2 (live sucks) and move them fordward.

  2. It’s amazing how we use language; but instead of creating an image of the reality in our minds language creates reality by itself! What I mean is that the brain doesn’t differentiate real reality from false reality and here is where the language takes action.

    We have to change the way we talk to each other but even more to ourselves. A clear example is people who are constantly complaining about their bad luck in life “My life sucks”, “I always fail”, “I’m a loser”, etc. this creates a reality where it’s impossible to change anything. It also happens each morning when we wake up “baah I don’t want to go to the office”, “this week is taking so long” or “I’m gonna have a bad day because of the that meeting”, etc. and automatically your brain takes this “self-instructions” as a reality and prepares you to a bad feelings, so everything go bad.

    Because of that, we have to do the opposite thing. Use language in a positive way and create a better reality. As always, there are too many studies (yeah, yeah I read sometime on the internet, but now I don’t remember…) where they might show a real correlation between people who talk to themselves positively and the “success” they have in life.

    I don’t even remember if that was the point of the post, I started writing and… but was nice to participate! Congrats for the blog and keep posting!!!

    1. Thanks Marc and Xavi for your comments. I agree with both of them.
      Specially what you mention Xavi, it was also said at the Coaching class! How language creates reality! It is not easy, as using a possitive language many times implies we will have to make an effort and being a “victim” is easier. But it’s worth it if you really want to enjoy and make the best of this life 🙂


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