Written by Renee L Richardson
The Root of the Misinterpretation: What we say versus what we think

As I sat down pondering the confusing intimate relationships of which I have endured, I was led to the dictionary. I began by looking up the definition of the word change. I chose to define the word change because I have all too many times heard men use the statement: “But baby I’ve changed” within our disagreements within our intimate dealings.

When one uses the word change, for me, a mental picture of some sort of divine intervention occurs, some sort of metamorphosis is occurring in that the meaning of change for me means that the individual who claims to have changed a behavior will NEVER repeat the behavior of which he claimed to have changed. However, when looking at the definition of the word change, such is defined as one making an adjustment of some sort. Within the mere definition, the idea of the person never committing the behavior is not included or even insinuated within the context of the definition.

The point of which I am trying to make is that within the English language, a word can be spoken thereby producing a mental image of some kind and most times, through personal experience, the mental representation does not match the actual definition. Taking the example of someone verbally stating that they have changed and the listener receiving a mental message of change meaning that the person will never execute the particular behavior never again; is such not a major miscommunication between what the person professing change is actually saying versus the mental picture being received on the end of the listener. See, the actual definition of change in its simplest form means to merely adjust or conform to a behavior. Now when looking at the word to adjust, what mental picture does one receive? Does the word adjust give off the sense of permanency? Or does one get a mental vibe that the person that is professing change/adjustment is simply tweaking a behavior of which is for the meantime?

Can we lend some validity to acknowledging that the English language has many meanings assigned to one word and that within some instances, our environment lends to the formation of how we perceive even the very meanings of words? With such said, just maybe, we place too much weight onto the meanings of words thereby placing too high of expectations onto the human beings (which are flawed) that we communicate with daily? Does the meaning of the words we use in light of verbalizing our feelings and wants hold as much power as the mental picture of which we assign? Let’s figure this one out….

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Author's Bio: 

Renee L. Richardson has always possessed a passion for learning and attempting to understand people. In addition, she has a profound respect for utilizing every experience whether positive or negative as teachable moments.

Growing up in a low socio economic environment, she has defied physics so to speak with her dynamic approaches to wellness as she reflects on her past experiences as a tool of guidance. In addition, Renee has a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology, a MA in Education and is currently seeking a Phd in Counseling Psychology; all of which are considered bonuses to her natural talent when interacting with individuals as she assists them in appraoches and methods to foster psycholgical growth.

Renee has also written two books of which is scheduled to be published in 2012. The first book written is a semi-autobiography of which explains the childhood abuse that she endured. The book reveals the tools and methods of which concluded as successful as she encountered and balanced her extremely toxic relationships throughout childhood and well into her adult life.

As a full time teacher, adjunct professor, and motivational speaker, Renee welcomes the challenges of speaking out at public events in the attempt to touch at least one person. Her relentless efforts to spread a positive word whether in person or via the written word, she welcomes the challenges in regard to promoting change.