– the greatest challenge in this day and age


If we are to develop we must dare to be curious and to wonder. Why do I say “dare to”? Because even if we haven’t thought about it, or will acknowledge it, new insight can turn up that is unfamiliar. All that is unfamiliar can make us feel uncertain, and the path of least resistance becomes automatic – we fail to act.


Through the years I’ve gone through many processes that were about communication, and they continue because I want to be in a state of continuous development. Communication between humans is one of the largest and most complex subjects, and I believe that it is one of the largest challenges for us to solve in our day and age. If we consider inner and outer processes in light of the function of the brain, it is nonetheless more simple than we might believe.

I’ve always been fascinated by these processes and what happens. It’s more and more fascinating the deeper I get in my understanding. The challenge is that we all have different collections of references based on what we have learned from an early stage in life.


Automatic responses

Just think that the brain creates neural pathways from what it learns. These become automatic, in other words we behave unconsciously, without thinking about it. When someone tells you something, your brain will search the “archives.” If it doesn’t find a match it will fetch something similar. If the brain doesn’t find anything similar, we can unconsciously become defensive about what we’ve learned and the truths we have in our subconscious. We feel a need to be right, while needing to “think outside the box” of references already stored in our brain.

Our emotions get involved, and when we are stuck in an emotion we are not able to think rationally. It’s as if all “common sense” leaves us and all that we’ve learned about good behavior disappears. We also begin to rationalize our emotions with old neural pathways the brain has fetched. We start finding and pointing out faults in those we are having a conversation with. He/she is so… or says….

This does not lead to development, but it is unfortunately what happens while we are communicating. We all have neural pathways that our brains automatically follow.


A new form of communication

In my work to get people to think in new ways, new pathways so to speak, it’s important to understand what happens while communication is taking place. During a learning phase I try to communicate things in different ways, since I know that everyone I meet has built up different neural pathways. At the same time, I know from experience that no matter what I say or how I explain new concepts, others will always interpret what I say depending on their own already-existing references.

Perhaps you’ve experienced being in conversations that at the time seem difficult or at a stalemate. Or perhaps someone has judged you unfairly because they have other references and interpretations than you do?

If we are to create a new form of communication and find solutions together, we must be open-minded and willing to consider things in new ways. We must be willing to “think outside the box” of references that our brain has already stored. Since our brain does whatever we ask it to do.

Deborah Borgen