“I don’t think you can do that…”
This is a common auto-response I get from a particular person in my environment when I offer a suggestion or idea. It’s an immediate reaction, before they look aside; and then begin to think. Usually what follows is all the reasons why it can’t be done. A root of this behavior is, I believe, control issues.
Beyond that, it is an interesting example of neuro linguistic programming . Simply put, our language reflects how we act, think and feel, and how a person’s vocabulary reinforces their behavior.
Listening closely to most of the verbal garbage in the political discourse, I hear a lot of “I can’t”, “You can’t”, “We can’t”, etc. I also hear “I don’t think”...etc. , often as a preface to attacking the actions of others. I tend to tune these people out very quickly. They are not thinking, they are not problem solving and they are not acting. They are simply re-acting out of fear and a perceived threat to their control dramas.
Next time I hear “I don’t think you can do that”, I’m mentally inserting a period after the word think ….and, internally at least, say “Thank you!”
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