“Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt.” – Jose Saramago, Born Nov. 16, 1922.
Jose is talking about how even the best writers can find themselves incapable of expressing the full range of human emotion.
And that’s arguably their whole job. But even then, the full spectrum of nuance and subtlety can be incredibly hard to capture on the page.
Now consider your average person. They lack the capability of putting even just their OWN feelings into words.
And therefore they struggle at expressing themselves. They struggle to even consider and analyze their own internal feelings because they don’t have the language to do so.
It’s a side effect of our non-contemplative consumer lifestyle, where we primarily experience our emotions by proxy. Through characters in books and movies and TV. We feel vicariously.
But that doesn’t create a real connection.
People who can't express themselves suffer from a form of loneliness no matter how many people they are surrounded by. They have a constant experience of isolation and being misunderstood.
But what does it take for them to feel the opposite? A spark of connection? A bond of rapport?
Only someone who has a sufficient vocabulary and insight to EXPLAIN their own feelings back to them.
Which is why when a sharp-tongued devil like us comes along – someone who can finally express what they are feeling inside – the connection is incredibly moving for them.
“Suddenly, someone gets me!”
We can cut right to the heart of them and they feel that we know them on the inside – the inside they cannot share with others. And therefore you MUST be kindred spirits, right?
But the secret is that this isolation and lack of expression makes it so that people believe they must suffer alone. They believe that others don't know feelings like their own inner turmoil, because they never tell it.
But because they never tell it, they don't realize that most people feel exactly the same.
So if you can describe a sort of general malaise and ennui – a feeling stagnation and uncertainty – you can make anyone feel like you know them down to their bones.
You’re not like other people in the same way that THEY aren’t like other people. You’re like THEM. And they can TRUST you…
<!—- lagniappe This is easier than you might think, because you don’t really need to be a psychic mind reader or an amazing writer. You just need to speak from their point of view and say the obvious things they won’t disclose. 1. Uncertainty. People don’t want to admit what they don’t know, but you can show them that you’ve felt confused about how to solve your own problems. 2. Unsuccessful. People don’t like to admit failure and giving up. But you can show them that you know what it’s like to try and try again and fail each time. 3. Stagnant. It’s frustrating to have a problem you don’t know how to solve, or have failed to solve. You feel stuck and you hide it from everyone but someone who can relate. 4. Angry. People might feel tricked, or ripped off by those who promised help but didn’t deliver. Or maybe their problem is due to some kind of opponent’s actions against them. Share it. 5. Depressed. People can get into a rut and a dead end of thinking there is no way out or through for them. They feel a hopelessness they can’t knock loose - but a kindred spirit who managed it might convince them to hope. 6. Fear. They are scared the problem will get worse and they are out of options. They have anxiety because the best they can do now without help is ignore it and pray for luck. Speak to these emotions with empathy and sympathy, and you will connect deeply and directly. —->