Listening carefully allows us to hear what is not being said. Frequently, we avoid stating our feelings directly for fear we’ll get hurt or hurt someone else, so our most pressing message is obscured or hidden completely.
For instance, when you interrupt a statement to take another tack, it often indicates a deliberate decision to hide an unacceptable feeling.
If you offer a gratuitous denial such as saying, “I’m not angry,” when no one asked if you were, some part of you is made and another part is suppressing open expression of the feeling.
“I don’t really feel upset,” indicates that there are ways in which you really do.
Even though we try to disguise the seemingly unacceptable part of our message, our intent is either known or felt. So is another disconcerting message- that we’ve tried, and failed, to obscure the fact that we have a hidden agenda.
Gratuitous denials require our attention.