If I’ve learned anything from my line of work it’s that people don’t say what they mean, or do what they think. Deep down, hidden beneath the layer of text, words, and actions lies something else. Intention. Intentions are the precursors to our actions and words. I’m hoping to extrapolate intention out below by working backward. Feel free to follow along.
Intentions Require Interpretation
Intention’s supersede both actions and words. They are at the root of action. The starting point if you will. They exist inside of our mind until they don’t; until we choose or decide that they shouldn’t. At that point, we move from a state of passive to active and convert these intentions into something else. Usually it is at this time when we choose to express these intentions to someone so they may understand what and how we are thinking.
Actions Require Observation
Clearly, actions are how we express our intentions. Actions can vary and could be small or large in nature. They can be selfish or selfless. From the outside looking in, actions are just what they are. Something to be observed.
Words Require Trust
Without action or even with action, all you have left are words to go by. Words are tricky things. When strung together in just the right way, you can be led down a path of false expectations. Words without action are for the most part empty letters on a page or notes dancing through the air. You must pair them with corresponding actions otherwise you’re left trusting the words of someone else.
Intentions Speak Louder than Actions
Taking into account both words and actions, you can make attempts at interpreting someone’s intentions. It won’t be perfect. This is a game of probabilities after all. You’re taking into account moments of time where you observed and recall memories of things they had done. Accompany that with their words either written or spoken to you, and you can gauge what their intentions are. Sometimes you’ll be wrong or right. I’ll be honest, it can hurt with either scenario depending on how close you are to that person.
But while some say actions speak louder than words, intentions speak louder than both. You can’t evaluate someone’s words without their actions or vice versa. Otherwise, you’re more likely to be wrong about what they’re thinking or how they feel.
The Healing Process
I didn’t realize before writing this, but intention, that word also means something else. In medicine, apparently it’s also defined as “the healing process of a wound”. Without digging to much into the definition, I just want to say I think that is fascinating. In connecting this back to my post about Chasing closure, I wonder if there is something more here.
Is chasing or wanting to achieve closure, just an attempt at understanding why we misinterpreted someone’s intentions? Are we so wrong sometimes at interpreting words and actions that we blame ourselves so harshly?
Going to continue pulling on this string. Think I’m onto something here.
Until next time…