Chapter 1 POI, part 2

Earlier, I posted about this passage that talks about how we redefine previous relationships and other relationships based on how we discuss or talk about our current relationship. But there’s another part that I’ve been really fascinated by when I think on this passage.

The topic I’m going to discuss here is implicit messages. 

Implicit messages are often subconscious for us. We don’t think about what we mean when we say something, at least not at the deeper level. Think about this phrase for example.

“Paper cuts are the worst thing in the world.”

Okay, I agree that paper cuts are awful. They hurt and irritate me in ways that I sometimes forget is possible. But by calling it “the worst thing in the world,” I’ve sent another message I probably didn’t intend.

For example, by comparison to famine, poverty, treatable but life-threatening illnesses, paper cuts probably aren’t so bad. But that’s not what I said… I called them the “WORST.” My implicit messages are that an irritation that may cause minor bleeding, which can be healed with some antibiotic salve and a bandage more problematic than all those other things.

We do the same thing when we use certain terms. I’ll talk more about that soon, when we get to verbal language, but it’s important to consider. How we talk about something tells a lot more than the words we use; it shares our perspective, our world view, and tells others a lot about ourselves.


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