The tightropes of verbal communication

It always was strange to me bringing it to the point; at least the way the others have in mind to bring it to the point – the way they fancy, bringing it to the point. When people start a conversation, aiming to reach a certain final crux A, they actually start to rake slowly up parts of the crux, before presenting finally the crux or the ending. This process is typical for every discussion, which is based on what we usually call arguments.

However, in this point, I have a confession to make and of course it is a very personal confession, which does not necessarily look for acceptance or denial. As I think confessions of certain thoughts, are sometimes the seeds for new perspectives, the roots of doubt.

Thus, I confess that strange is this feeling of “undressing” the final crux slowly, especially for someone like me, who surely doesn’t lack in patience or understanding. I mean, I could stand waiting to hear the point of someone’s argument and how he snoops around it, however a strange force pushes me to think the following:

“You only want so bad to confess what everyone, who is participating in the conversation is thinking at this very moment, but you actually are not allowed to, because by doing so you might 1) influence the “normal flow” of the conversation, 2) probably provoke questioning looks because you suddenly change the “normal (subconscious) row” of the conversation and 3) probably being also marked as “inapt” (socially mismatched), because of not being (self-)restrained enough, meaning you are not democratic enough to let the person speaking finish first”

I mean isn’t it strange? Extremely smart people having orientation problems inside the endless tightropes of the verbal communication, or are these orientation problems exactly this feature, which could make part of clever people? However it is not the purpose of the text to create a list of features, which make out clever or less clever people. After thinking well about why I am writing this text, I realised that there is no specific purpose or at least a guided purpose or intention. The idea of creating the current text was my personal experience of participating in various conversations with various types of people and very different ways of supporting their ideas or thinking. Therefore I have noticed that great similarity of verbal communication with a circus full of tightropes, on which acrobatics prepare themselves to balance – or not. Everything is definitely about balance  and who is saying more than needed or not, of course this is up to the listener or the viewer, if we follow the circus metaphor.

Even though, my observer quality, permitted me to see something that maybe some of you have never thought about when participating in conversations – and this is actually, because we tend to follow the same conversation ritual every time or were educated in a certain way (e.g. we should let everyone finish when he is talking and patiently wait, because this shows good manners).

However, after finishing my longstanding observation, I realised very disappointed that people may respect each other, but deep inside they don’t respect their precious time or their own honesty. They don’t respect their instincts, which may many times cause irrational troubles, however derives from a very original source in every individual. I suppose that this same instinct would have the great potential to lead people  understanding that being spontaneous, however let’s say spontaneous in good proportions – although oxymoron but essential for achieving a good speech, is indeed and eventually the key for transferring an idea, which will not be just based on good arguments or in general follow the need for arguments, but will also involve the originality of every speaker, his personal attitude and qualities. This fact does not mean that any argument would be less valid; in the contrary, it would be in my opinion even more spectacular, because it would have a face. It would have a memory.

In particular, there is something that actually happens very often: the overriding majority deals with “dialectical” problems, so basically with difficulties when forming opinions and moreover (and more general) when producing spoken or verbal language. And not unjustified. The fear of speaking in front of other is probably one of the biggest fears. It is the fear of expression and exposure. It is the fear of making mistakes. It is the fear of giving the wrong impressions. I believe that these fears made their appearance very much due to social conventions or stereotypes. Of course, it’s not easy to deal with a deeply-rooted difficulty like this one; it never was that simple to cope with deeply ingrained, almost repetitive attitudes.

The realisation of the presence of this deep-rooted complexity, even inside the institution of the university, which often stands for expression and free opinion, confirms the extent of the aforementioned behaviour. In particular, one can still experience how people draw criticism (unfortunately for not necessarily apparent reason, but because one is being taught inside the university to take out all possible available swords and enter the argumentation’s war) or even are in a special and deep dilemma if they should comment on something or not. They do not trust their instinct in a way. It is this fact, which creates in me a weird and sad feeling, when thinking that everybody stands for freedom -not only of speech. I think it would be more free and honest to say that you are free to lead me to your mouse trap, hypnotise me by facts and arguments, promote the same pattern of conversation.

However, verbal communication and speech are pretty dynamic. For this reason, the further above mentioned concept of balance is as I think at this point reasonable. People should risk getting exposed for their ideas, but also keeping in mind that at the same time they are literally walking on a tightrope. Because this is how speech finally works and there is nothing bad with walking on tightropes, if one overcomes the fears, which accompany this action.


“You could see now up high, in the centre of the tent, roads made out of tightropes, one next to each other, some closer and some other more far away. And without even realising it, you could see yourself walking on them”

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