We have heard the advice that we should stay away from the keyboard when we are feeling especially emotional – particularly if we are in a very bad mood. The tone of voice we use when we write might just colour people’s judgement about who and what we are and of course there is the potential to say something that we may later regret. I wrote a blog “What tone of voice do you use when you blog, comment or …” and there were some interesting observations. But how often do we consider the tone of voice in which we read things?

I know that because I am a generally happy person that I will invariably interpret the world as a loving and welcoming place full of interesting people at varying places of their life journey. And it is all fascinating. However, it is not unusual to completely miss the arrows and ammunition flying overhead when there is a spat going on. It’s akin to strolling into a room only to find that the loud expressive exclamations are not to do with impassioned and reasoned debate but are in fact a flotilla of insults and accusations. I will then probably back away slowly without making any sudden moves!

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t view everything through rose coloured spectacles nor do I shy away from feisty word play where boundaries of intellect and intelligence stretch and limber up brain cells that don’t always get an outing BUT how we react to things can have a very direct affect on how we respond. In ‘miserable git mode’ it becomes very easy to get hot under the collar over some small remark that has landed in my head at the wrong time and comes across as being unreasonable and irreverent. How dare it? But of course, if I have approached the blog, comment or article in a negative frame of mind then it is surely my fault that it has affected me that way?

Every posting will only ever show one minuscule tiny facet of a greater and very much more interesting personality which can only be discovered if we can retain this neutrality. It would be great to encourage an integral expectation of observing personalities in a holistic way ie look at the whole person and not judge them for one posting and how WE have interpreted it.

So how do you READ other’s written word? Do you reserve judgement until you are clear about the intentions of the writer? Can you tolerate a cultural difference in the ways that words are used? Is it possible to retain neutrality when approaching the world of others thoughts?

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