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HOW TO USE CLEAN LANGUAGE TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-TALK AND OVERCOME CHALLENGES.

πŸ—£οΈ CLEAN LANGUAGE - COMMUNICATE BETTER
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πŸ—£οΈ CLEAN LANGUAGE - COMMUNICATE BETTER

πŸ“ Communication 🏷️ Metaphors
πŸ•™ 15 mins
Vlad | Mentalist | Modeller | Handicapper
Author
Vlad | Mentalist | Modeller | Handicapper
He is an explorer of the structure of subjective experience, seeking a deeper understanding of how people experience the world through their conscious and subconscious minds. He studies the inner worlds of thoughts, feelings, and sensations that shape our perceptions, behaviors, and choices.
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Knowing - This article is part of a series.
Part : This Article

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio

“Many of the people we meet with on a daily basis feel as though their ideas and emotions are not being heard or understood.” - Unknown

πŸ“„ ABSTRACT
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Clean Language is a concept that emphasizes the importance of using clear and precise language in communication. This approach to communication involves using neutral words and avoiding assumptions or interpretations that can lead to misunderstandings. By using Clean Language techniques, speakers can eliminate biased language and clarify their intentions, leading to more effective communication and better relationships. Clean Language enables individuals to tap into the full potential of clear communication, allowing them to establish trust, build stronger connections and unleash the power of their ideas and thoughts. With the use of Clean Language, individuals can create a positive environment for communication that fosters understanding, mutual respect, and productivity. In essence, Clean Language is a powerful tool for unlocking the potential of clear communication.

πŸ“Š RATIO 7%, 38% + 55% IN COMMUNICATION OF EMOTIONS
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In 1981 Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA published book Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes. 1 summarizing findings that perception of spoken language meaning consist of

  • words which accounts for 7% of information
  • tone of voice which influences 38% of message
  • body language such as face expression, gestures, body posture, coloration of the skin, sweating which transmit to listener overwhelming 55% of the data.

Even though research had shown that ratios my vary in cultural settings, type of emotions, expectations and decoding skills of the subjects.

The theory that emotion messages are composed and perceived through three or more channels is valid.

πŸ‘ͺ LANGUAGE IN THE COMMUNICATION
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Language is a tool that we use every day to convey ideas, express our feelings, and communicate with one another. Whether we’re speaking or writing, the words we choose and the context we use them in can have a powerful impact on our thoughts and interactions.

1. LET’S ESTABLISH THAT LANGUAGE IS NOT A NEUTRAL TOOL.
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The words we use come with connotations, assumptions, and values attached to them. For example, the word ‘success’ carries with it ideas of personal achievement, career progression, and financial gain. Similarly, the word ‘failure’ has negative connotations of incompetence, disappointment, and regret. These unconscious associations can influence our perception of the world and how we respond to certain situations.

2. LANGUAGE CAN ALSO BE USED AS A TOOL OF PERSUASION AND MANIPULATION.
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Politicians and advertisers, for example, have long been aware of this power and often use emotionally charged language to sway public opinion. The language of fear has been known to mobilize people around certain ideals or political parties, while the language of hope has convinced people to make significant changes in their lives.

3. ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, THE WORDS WE USE CAN ALSO IMPACT OUR SELF-IMAGE AND MENTAL HEALTH.
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Negative self-talk, for instance, can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and even physical illness. On the other hand, positive affirmations can promote feelings of self-efficacy and boost our mood. When we’re mindful of the language we use, we have the power to change how we see ourselves and the world around us.

πŸ›οΈ ORIGINS AND PRINCIPLES OF CLEAN LANGUAGE
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DAVID GROVE
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David Grove was a New Zealand-based psychotherapist who worked extensively with individuals who had suffered from trauma, and he noticed that traditional therapy techniques often relied on assumptions, projections, and leading questions, which could lead clients to feel judged or misunderstood.

To address this, he developed in the 1980s Clean Language as a way to minimize the therapist’s influence on the client’s experience, to explore their own thoughts and emotions without interference, encourage them to process their experiences more effectively, and to build resilience and self-awareness in the face of difficult circumstances.

Grove believed that the most effective therapeutic interventions were those that allowed the client to access their own resources and experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

THE CLEAN LANGUAGE APPROACH CONSISTS OF FOUR CORE PRINCIPLES:
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1. USING THE LANGUAGE OF THE CLIENT.
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2. KEEPING THE THERAPIST/COACH’S IDEAS AND SYMBOLS OUT OF THE CONVERSATION.
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3. ASKING OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS THAT FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL’S OWN EXPERIENCE.
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4. LISTENING ATTENTIVELY TO THE INDIVIDUAL’S RESPONSES.
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πŸ—¨οΈ GUIDING PARTICIPANTS
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  • Sitting by side so you can perceive nuances in facial expression, gestures, coloration of the skin and not stay in the way of client who are accessing their images and creating metaphors in front of them.
  • Modulate your voice and speak slowly and melodically.
  • Be interested and curious about client exploration.
  • Repeat client’s words using his voice delivery. For instance when the client spoke about exciting event, his face lightened up, words speeded up and his tone of voice was higher. As a professional, you are, match his expression or attend acting class to learn essentials.
  • Connect the question and experience with coordinating conjunction and/as/when. For instance: As you are thinking about X ing. You are like what?

πŸ‘ WORDS, METAPHORS AND SYMBOLS ARE REPRESENTATION OF OUR REALITY
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To convey meaning we are compressing hold concepts to structure of associated words, metaphors and symbols. When we read word chair, we perceive examples of all of our experiences in real or imaginary word and select one chair which fits best into the context. We talk, and sense thoughts about freedom, book, time, perfume, pizza… using transderivational search employing database of all examples.

It’s easier to describe sensation of relaxing, noticing the change of breathing pattern, warm temperature spreading through our body, heaviness, internal voice is slowing down as a “Imagine Drop of water on a leaf sliding at the rate and pace that it’s most appropriate and going down, deeper and deeper still.”

We use metaphors such as butterfly feeling in our stomach, carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, joy in our heart as our subjective experience connects the meaning of metaphor or symbol to our reality.

πŸ’§ CLEAN LANGUAGE SESSION - COMMUNICATING WITH THE ANXIETY - IDEAL SESSION
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  • Facilitator: Welcome to this clean language session focused on communicating with the emotion of anxiety. Our goal today is to explore the messages and insights that anxiety may have for you. Are you ready to begin?

  • Client: Yes, I’m ready.

  • Facilitator: Great. Let’s start by acknowledging the presence of anxiety within you. Take a moment to connect with that feeling. What would you like to know about your anxiety?

  • Client: I want to understand what my anxiety is trying to communicate to me.

  • Facilitator: What kind of anxiety is that anxiety?

  • Client: It feels like a tightness in my chest and a constant sense of worry.

  • Facilitator: A tightness in your chest and a constant sense of worry. Is there anything else about that tightness and worry that you would like to know?

  • Client: I’m curious if there’s a specific reason or trigger behind my anxiety.

  • Facilitator: Any specific reason or trigger behind your anxiety. What kind of reason or trigger could be connected to your anxiety?

  • Client: It could be related to certain situations that make me feel uncertain or overwhelmed.

  • Facilitator: Situations that make you feel uncertain or overwhelmed. Is there anything else about those situations that you would like to explore?

  • Client: I wonder if my anxiety is trying to tell me that I need to establish better coping mechanisms or seek support.

  • Facilitator: Establishing better coping mechanisms and seeking support. What needs to happen for you to establish better coping mechanisms and seek support?

  • Client: I need to identify healthy coping strategies, such as deep breathing or mindfulness exercises, and reach out to trusted individuals who can provide guidance or lend an empathetic ear.

  • Facilitator: Identifying healthy coping strategies and reaching out to trusted individuals. Is there anything else about establishing better coping mechanisms and seeking support that feels important to you?

  • Client: I think it’s important to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help and that I don’t have to face my anxiety alone.

  • Facilitator: Recognizing that it’s okay to ask for help and that you don’t have to face your anxiety alone. What does it mean to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help?

  • Client: It means understanding that seeking support is a sign of strength and self-care, and that I deserve to receive support when I need it.

  • Facilitator: Understanding that seeking support is a sign of strength and self-care, and that you deserve to receive support when you need it. Is there anything else about recognizing the importance of asking for help that you would like to explore?

  • Client: I want to explore ways to manage and reduce my anxiety in daily life.

  • Facilitator: Managing and reducing your anxiety in daily life. What kind of management and reduction are we talking about?

  • Client: Maybe incorporating relaxation techniques, practicing self-compassion, and setting realistic expectations for myself.

  • Facilitator: Incorporating relaxation techniques, practicing self-compassion, and setting realistic expectations. Is there anything else you would like to discover or any other insights you would like to gain from this session?

  • Client: I think this session has given me a lot to consider and reflect on. I feel more aware of my anxiety and the steps I can take to manage it.

  • Facilitator: That’s wonderful to hear. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you navigate your anxiety and to reach out for support when needed. Thank you for participating in this clean language session.

  • Client: Thank you for guiding me through this process. I feel more equipped to address my anxiety and prioritize my mental well-being.

❓ THE BASIC CLEAN LANGUAGE QUESTIONS SET BY DAVID GROVE
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The variables X and Y are placeholders for the individual’s spoken or nonverbal expressions in these questions.

  • (And) what kind of X (is that X)?

  • (And) is there anything else about X?

  • (And) where is X? or (And) whereabouts is X?

  • (And) that’s X like what? (this gets you the metaphor that you can then explore)

  • (And) is there a relationship between X and Y?

  • (And) when X, what happens to Y?

  • (And) then what happens? or (And) what happens next?

  • (And) what happens just before X?

  • (And) where could X come from?

  • (And) what would X like to have happen?

  • (And) what needs to happen for X?

  • (And) can X (happen)?

  • (And) does X have a size, shape and location?

  • (And) how many X could be there?

  • (And) how old could X be?

  • (And) How far is X?

  • (And) in which direction it’s moving?

  • (And) is X on the outside or inside?

  • (And) where is X perceiving that from?

  • (And) where ate you going when you go there?

  • (And) is X the same or different from Y? (What’s between X and Y)

  • (And) what determines whether X or Y?

  • (And) how will you know?

πŸ’ͺ EXERCISES NO 1. CLEAN LANGUAGE MEDITATION BASED ON THE WORK OF DAVID GROVE
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Welcome to our clean language meditation, a practice that encourages you to explore your thoughts and emotions in a nonjudgmental and supportive way.

BEGIN BY FINDING A COMFORTABLE AND QUIET PLACE TO SIT OR LIE DOWN.
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  • Take a deep breath and relax your body, releasing any tension or stress you may be holding.

  • As you continue to breathe, allow your mind to wander, without trying to control or force your thoughts. Simply notice what arises in your mind and describe it using neutral, open-ended language:

  • What kind of (thought/feeling/sensation) is that (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • Is there anything else about (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • Where is (thought/feeling/sensation) located in your body?

  • And that’s (thought/feeling/sensation) is like what? (this gets you the metaphor that you can then explore)

  • And is there a relationship between (thought/feeling/sensation) and (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • And when (thought/feeling/sensation), what happens to (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • And then what happens? or And what happens next?

  • And what happens just before (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • And where could (thought/feeling/sensation) come from?

  • And what would (thought/feeling/sensation) like to have happen?

  • And what needs to happen for (thought/feeling/sensation)?

  • And can (thought/feeling/sensation) (happen)?

  • As you respond to these questions, allow yourself to be curious and playful. There are no right or wrong answers, only opportunities for self-discovery and growth.

  • If you find yourself getting caught up in negative or self-critical thoughts, remember to approach them with the same openness and curiosity, treating them as simply another aspect of your experience. You can choose to explore them further or set them aside for another time..

  • When you’re ready, take a deep breath and slowly return your attention to the present moment.

  • Take some time to reflect on your experience and write down any insights or revelations you gained through the exercise.

πŸ’ͺ EXERCISES NO 2. CLEAN LANGUAGE AS A TOOL FOR SORTING OUT ISSUES
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You’ll need paper and pencil to proceed. Optionally a puzzle.

  • Choose in the beginning mild issue to work with.
  • Write Clean Language questions from above on strips of paper or pieces of puzzles.
  • Place the questions on the table face down.
  • Start the exercise with question β€œWhat would you like to have happen?”, then relax and wait for an answer. It can arise verbally as your or other person voice, it can be perceived as image, movie or a symbol. The answer can be felt in your body and interpreted by you.
  • Write the answer down.
  • Take paper or piece of puzzle with question from the table, read it, then relax and wait for an answer. It can arise verbally as your or other person voice, it can be perceived as image, movie or a symbol. It can be felt in your body and interpreted by you.
  • Continue till all the questions on the table are answered.

πŸ’ͺ EXERCISE NO 3. USE CLEAN LANGUAGE TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BODY
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You’ll need paper and pencil to proceed. Optionally a puzzle.

  • Choose in the beginning mild issue to work with.
  • Write Clean Language questions from above on strips of paper or pieces of puzzles.
  • Place the questions on the table face down.
  • Thank your body for supporting you and providing vehicle for your expression. Thank your body for communicating with you.
  • Ask body part the question β€œWhat would you like to have happen?”, then relax and wait for an answer. It can arise verbally as your or other person voice, it can be perceived as image, movie or a symbol. The answer can be felt in your body and interpreted by you.
  • Write the answer down.
  • Take paper or piece of puzzle with question from the table, read it, then relax and wait for an answer. It can arise verbally as your or other person voice, it can be perceived as image, movie or a symbol. It can be felt in your body and interpreted by you.
  • Continue till all the questions on the table are answered.

❔ FAQ
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1. TRUE ANSWERS
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  • Q. I don’t know if the answers are true.
  • A. True is a relative term. Ask: Is this answer coming from my core being and can I sense it as part of me?

πŸ˜† JOKES
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  • Why did the clean language enthusiast become a librarian? Because they loved organizing words and keeping things squeaky clean!

  • Why did the clean language coach always carry a dustpan? Because they were always ready to sweep away any negativity and keep conversations tidy!

  • How did the clean language practitioner propose to their partner? They said, “Will you be the subject of my clean language inquiries and help me rewrite the story of our lives together?”

  • What did the clean language facilitator say to the messy room? “I’m going to ask you some clean questions, and together we’ll find the perfect place for everything!”

  • What’s a clean language enthusiast’s favorite type of humor? Puns that tickle the mind without offending anyone’s sensibilities!

  • What did the clean language coach say to the messy whiteboard? “Let’s wipe away the confusion and create a clean canvas for new ideas!”

  • Why did the clean language coach start a vegetable garden? Because they believed in cultivating clean, positive thoughts and watching them grow!

  • What did the clean language enthusiast say to the crossword puzzle? “Let’s fill in the blanks with clean words and solve this puzzle of communication!”

  • What did the clean language enthusiast say to the smudged mirror? “Let’s wipe away the doubts and reflect on the beauty within!”

  • Why did the clean language speaker become a painter? Because they believed in using clean strokes of language to create masterpieces of understanding!

  • Why did the clean language facilitator start a composting project? Because they believed in turning negative thoughts into fertile ground for personal growth!

  • What did the clean language practitioner say to the tangled shoelaces? “Let’s untie these knots of confusion and walk towards clarity!”

  • Why did the clean language facilitator become a tour guide? Because they loved exploring the depths of people’s thoughts and guiding them towards clean insights!

  • hy did the clean language coach bring a feather to their sessions? Because they believed in using gentle language that tickles the mind and encourages positive change, just like a light feather touch!

πŸ¦‹ METAPHORS ABOUT CLEAN LANGUAGE
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  • Clean language is a refreshing breeze that clears away the cobwebs of confusion.

  • Clean language is a crystal-clear mirror that reflects the truth of our thoughts.

  • Clean language is a gentle broom that sweeps away the clutter of negative words.

  • Clean language is a sparkling river that washes away the debris of misunderstanding.

  • Clean language is a beacon of light that illuminates the path to clear communication.

  • Clean language is a soothing balm that heals the wounds of miscommunication.

  • Clean language is a blank canvas where the colors of understanding can be painted.

  • Clean language is a compass that guides us towards clarity and connection.

  • Clean language is a well-tuned instrument that creates harmonious conversations.

  • Clean language is a key that unlocks the doors of effective communication.

  • Clean language is a garden of blooming flowers where ideas can flourish.

  • Clean language is a gentle rain that nourishes the seeds of understanding.

  • Clean language is a symphony of words that resonates with meaning and harmony.

πŸ“š RESOURCES:
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@book Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (2003) “Metaphors We Live By.” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

@book Lawley, J.D. and Tompkins, P.L. (2000) “Metaphors in Mind.” Crown House Publishing Ltd.

@book Sullivan, Wendy & Rees, Judy (2008). Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds. Crown House, Carmarthen. ISBN 978-1845901257

✏️ CONCLUSION
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Clean language is a powerful tool for personal growth and development. Remember to approach the process with an open-minded attitude, stay consistent with your communication practices, and seek guidance from a qualified coach or therapist if necessary. With dedication and practice, you can unlock the full potential of clean language to achieve greater success and fulfillment in all areas of life.


  1. @book Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth (currently distributed by Albert Mehrabian, [email protected]↩︎

πŸ“ Communication 🏷️ Metaphors

Knowing - This article is part of a series.
Part : This Article

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