Why you should value intent over word.

Today I want to talk about intent, and why I believe it matters. This is something that I've observed for a very long time now. And I've seen it happen on- and offline. I believe it is partially cause of the entire SJW-thing going on (just a suspision, I'm not sure). People seem to focus more on words, and how they define those words instead of what the person who said those words actually intended to say. Let me give you an example: A person nodding is commonly understood as a sign of approval, but in some cultures (that I've heard of) nodding is a sign of condescension, and therefore, in those cultures people would be rather offended if you nodded to them. But in reality, we should approach people with understanding of their differences, i.e a person who would find such a thing offensive can try to understand that this person didn't mean it that way, but rather wanted to convey something entirely different.

Language is a tool to make communication easier. A hammer is a tool too, but many seem to focus on the hammer instead of what is being built with it. I think I understand that it is easier to focus on the hammer, because turning your head and looking at what is being built with it, trying to look at the full scope requires a lot more effort and is way harder.

If you like it or not, languages that are still being spoken are dynamic. Languages only get static once they die, like latin. A word has the means what most people think it means, because that's how language works, finding a common term for a thing so everybody can refer to it, but this often fails on a large scale, and that's what we're experiencing right now. People having vastly different definitions of words that are trying to communicate with each other, which only results in anger and confusion because instead of trying to understand what the other person is trying to say, they focus on what the other person said. It is like trying to fit a rectangular piece of wood in a round hole, it just doesn't work.

After all that being said, what can we do to change that? Be open and always consider that you might've not understood what the other person was trying to say. If you have difficulties understanding what the other person is trying to say, ask them to reformulate, to reiterate, to elaborate. Also be aware that what you are saying might not have the effect you think it will have, so be careful what you say and prepare to reformulate, to reiterate, to elaborate.

Maybe this is common sense, but oh well. If you made it to the end, thanks, and have a nice day :)


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