Fear of speaking the truth

Do you find yourself struggling to get a handle on what’s really on your mind, and do you find it hard to say what it is too? If so, join the human race.

I’ve just been doing a bit of research about how Google is changing its search methodology and I found this blog comment: “Apparently what we type in is not what we actually want, most of the time… Therefore Google is studying how to develop a mathematical model for language to interpret what we are actually searching for: Amit Singal said,“When it comes to human language understanding we are still at the toddler stage…But over the next ten years we will attain the level of an eight or nine year old. We’ll be able to perfect experiences we don’t fully trust today””.

I was struck by the “what we type in is not what we actually want” bit. So human! What comes out isn’t the full story and we don’t always even know it ourselves!

People may very often struggle to express themselves. They might not be able to find the words for what’s on their mind. Then they might feel reluctant to say what’s really there to others, what is often a fear of speaking the truth. And then they might not really know what it really is anyway. Confusing.

So it can be for people.

I’m not so sure about the infantile allusions in that quote, and yet there’s a ring of truth too. In the sense that we “grow” psychologically, there is an aspect here of us learning more about what goes on for us, our raised self awareness, and this can have the feel about it of maturing, feeling more calm and steady in ourselves, more centred. And this comes over to others. Psychologists speak of us having a “developmental arrest” at certain stages in our growing up, when we get a sort of psychological freeze-frame around a certain event and our inner response. These events “mark” us in a way, and we make up all sorts of meanings about ourselves, others and about life based on these events. So, “growth” can involve becoming aware of what remains of these events in our psyche, and in our bodies, and releasing ourselves from their hold over us.

However, such events will have the effect on us of our cutting ourselves off from certain aspects of ourselves and how we feel, desensitisation, and/or of it being too painful to go there, and we tend to deflect our awareness away on to something else.

There again, part of our pattern might be for it to take time for a thought to come clear in our minds, let alone type it or speak it. This can relate to confidence, or simply being slow to formulate things clearly. I say “slow” but this too is an interpretation and we may be very effective in our our own way in how we formulate our understanding.

There’s also others’ reaction to what we say: “What will they think?” Or say or do? Our fear of others’ negative reactions, our perceptions of what others think, or what we think they think (!), is a big inhibitor too. As I said, welcome to the human race.

But it’s fascinating to me that Google is trying to get clever around second-guessing what people are meaning, when they can’t or don’t say it themselves. Which brings up the whole area of how much we can really, genuinely, “know” what others mean. And the programs will be written by humans. And humans filter their experience and interpret it. So, this will be interesting.