“I know” always stops the flow

This editorial column by Dusty Takle was previously published in the print edition of The GRIP.

“I know.”

I can remember growing up responding to my parents with “I know” when they would say something to me. Every time, my dad would say, “Don’t say ‘I know.’ Say, ‘yes, sir’ or ‘yes ma’am.’” I had a really hard time with that growing up.

I think most of us still have a hard time with that. Even as adults, it is an easy and automatic response to say, “I know.”

For the past couple of years, I have been working on removing that phrase from my communication. It’s still hard but being conscientious of it has made it easier.

When we respond with “I know,” we immediately shut off any potential for learning something new. We shut off any opportunity to grow in new information or revelation. Even when someone shares something with us that we feel we truly already know, we close off the potential to expand in it.

Refraining from the phrase also honors the person sharing his or her heart with us. It places value on their thoughts and their communication.

Now, instead of saying “I know,” I may something like, “That is really good.” Now, I’ve not only honored the person sharing, but I’ve also opened the door for growth.

I never really appreciated my dad’s reprimand in this when I was growing up, but I most certainly do now.

I appreciate how I hear my father’s voice when I correct my own children when they say it, but now, I am able to share with my children why it’s important to refrain from it. I tell them, “I know stops the flow.”

It stops the flow of information. It stops the flow of anything new coming to you that might grow you and expand you. It stops the flow of honoring our relationships and placing value on the words of someone else.

I know stops the flow.

We see the flow stop on social media outlets as people comment, “I know, but…..”
No one is able to hear the other person. No one is able to honor the other person because we are pre-wired to “know” and respond with what is already in our hearts instead of reading and listening to understand. Reading and listening to grow.

I want to grow. I want to expand. There is always so much more for us to learn. Even in the things we feel secure and solid in, there is always more, and what a beautiful way to honor the people in our lives. What a beautiful way to value all people, even those behind the computer screen that we may not see every day.

What a beautiful way to grow. I know, right? Just kidding, but seriously, the world could use a little more listening, a little more honoring and a lot more loving.

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