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A line or a square?

a poem

By Lucy Dan (she/her/她)Published 2 years ago 1 min read
A line or a square?
Photo by Vincent LaVigna on Unsplash

When we think there are

two components of dialogue:

1. what they said

2. what I said

we assume that language

is infallible.

In reality, there are four:

1. what I intended to say

2. how they interpret what I said

3. what they intended to say

4. what I interpret what they said

In reality,

I have to acknowledge that

just because I intended well

doesn’t mean that my words

might not be misinterpreted

and understood from a different context;

one that might potentially

be hurtful.

In reality,

words said with good intentions

might be hurtful when they

ignore the blind spots of my lived experiences.

Both these are valid:

a) my feelings, in reaction to the words

b) the good initial intention, despite the words used.

When we can only be in control

of what we say,

I advocate this:

Be responsible for your own communication.

You are responsible for both

your intentions

and the words you select,

and whether they are appropriate for the context.

Be curious and cautious about others’ communication.

When others might conflate

intention and action,

acknowledge both.

You are allowed to speak up

if actions have hurt you,

even if the intentions were good.

The words we speak

have more dimensions

than their surface meaning.

Let’s treat it as such.


First published here.


Lucy (@ramyeonjpg) is a budding poet who jots down all the wildest pieces of her life into poetry form. By day, she's a graduate student. By night, she crochets an unreasonable number of scrunchies to de-stress. As someone who never runs out of ideas, she aids other writers who run into writer's block with weekly poetry (or writing!) prompts. Feel free to join @ ramyeonjpg.substack.com!


About the Creator

Lucy Dan (she/her/她)

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