Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Stress of Conflicting Views

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Stress of Conflicting Views

Article excerpt

OUR CONFLICTS AND DISPUTES inevitably involve stress or indignation. This may become visible in our facial expression, voice tone, or gestures. Behind these visible reactions lie our attitudes, beliefs, and convictions.

Being firmly convinced of the 'correctness' of our beliefs and attitudes, we tend to respond accordingly. This may be diagrammed as follows:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Suppose that you I are communicating, and we hold strongly differing convictions. A possible conflict between us might ensure:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

What usually happens as a result?

Possibly part of the following:

   Stress reactions in each of us, including increased blood pressure,
   increased heart rate, muscular tension, altered breathing pattern,
   and other things of which we may or may not be aware.

Our over-all response to any happening or situation may be usefully diagrammed as follows:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This brings us to the importance of:

DISTINGUISHING THE HAPPENING FROM THE WORDING.

My colleagues and I see it as of the highest importance not to confuse level 4 with level 1. That is, we see it as a fundamental mistake to treat these two levels as one and the same. In the above diagram the happening comes first, and is more important than the wording which comes last. …

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