Hearing Things That Were Never Said

Published on September 6th, 2017
Blackout newspaper poem by Austin Kleon.

It’s one thing to read between the lines, which is a useful skill to fill in missing details that are either communicated non-verbally or not communicated at all by someone intentionally trying to evade an open and honest dialogue.

It’s another thing to invent and project fantasies around an incorrect assumption. “Oh she’s trying to say I’m stupid, probably because last time a, b, or c happened with person x, y, or z…” Left unchecked, we can become quite creative both in the variety and the level of detail of these stories, which were all built on something that was heard yet never said or implied.

Our desires, our fears, or maybe something that was misheard or lost in translation. Whatever the reason (and speaking from quite a bit of experience), it’s useful to ask for clarification before allowing a single thought to become a full blown trilogy worth of fiction that we tell and repeat to ourselves until it becomes part of our belief system, our reality.

Image by Austin Kleon from Newspaper Blackout Poetry.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.