Presence! What to say when you don’t know where someone is coming from!

Presence! What to say when you don’t know where someone is coming from!

Think about the last time you experienced a confusing conversation with your boss, a coworker, or a friend. What made it confusing? For me, it’s usually when things don’t line up. Words and actions aren’t congruent. My antennae go up and my survival brain starts to look for threats.

Here’s what could actually be happening: I am receiving information on two levels – the analytical channel — the spoken words, and the energetic/emotional channel — where we sense at a more intuitive level. This channel takes into account many other forms of connection, including nonverbal communication. When these two channels are not in sync, that’s when confusion sets in because you want to believe the words, but you don’t. You know something isn’t quite right, but you can’t put your finger on it.

What to do? In the past (and sometimes still), I’d immediately think it was my fault that I felt confused. That was true enough in that I was the one confused! No one else was feeling this for me. I’d judge myself, thinking I’m not understanding the situation or I’d asked a dumb question, or I’d done something wrong. I’d conclude that whatever I was experiencing was clearly all about me. But what if that wasn’t true? Yes, the confusion was mine, and maybe I wasn’t understanding the situation, but could there more to the story? Yes.

When confusion strikes, it’s possible the person communicating is not being completely forthcoming. Perhaps they aren’t clear themselves, or they’re withholding information to try to make it more palatable. Maybe they’re nervous and having a hard time being authentic. Whatever the reason, it’s the lack of congruence between those two channels that can result in confusion.

How do you respond effectively when you’re confused?

1. First, recognize that confusion does not exist for no reason. There are reasons for your confusion. You just don’t know what they are.

2. Get out of your survival brain and into the part of your brain that houses your Sage. The fact is, you have two brains – your survival brain, which houses all of your negative emotions and processes data like a personal computer, and your sage brain, which houses all of your positive emotions and higher functioning powers like empathy, exploration, innovation, navigation and activation. It acts like a parallel computer considering all sources of information, detecting patterns. This is where you want and need to be to know what’s really causing the confusion.

If you’re confused, your survival brain has been jumpstarted and is looking for threats. If you were being chased by a bear, this is exactly what you’d want to happen. It’s not so necessary when you’re having a conversation. So, you want to use this confusion as an alert that something needs your attention and get into your sage brain.

3. Once in your sage brain, get curious. Don’t assume anything. Ask questions to get more clarity. When you get more information, you can decide, from your sage brain, how to respond and what your next steps are. If you can’t get any more information, that in itself will give you clarity and direct your actions, and those actions will be coming from your higher functioning sage brain, not your survival brain.

Being able to easily intercept the negative saboteur thoughts that originate in your survival brain and then engage your sage brain depends on your level of mental fitness. It’s based on how strong your mental fitness muscles are – your saboteur interceptor, self command and sage muscles. You develop these muscles by doing exercises that focus on your physical sensations, strengthening those muscles and weakening your saboteur brain muscles.

To develop these muscles requires regular, consistent exercise, just like physical fitness requires regular, consistent exercise.

When you experience incongruence from someone, it’s a good reminder to check that your two channels are in sync so the person you’re communicating with isn’t confused and doesn’t know

what to say because they don’t know where you’re coming from! The energy/emotion channel will always win, so make sure your words and energy/emotion line up!

If you’d like to learn more about how to increase your mental fitness, you can visit my website at or contact me at to schedule a complimentary 30-minute discovery session. I’d love to support you!

2021-06-21T14:39:22-07:00June 21st, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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