Authentic Speech

I received a letter from a PhD student out of the University of Houston who asked me the following question:

Could you please point to good literature about authentic speech? I have heard you speak about its importance. But I am not really sure how to achieve that, how to tell when I am being authentic. This issue has puzzled me a lot for the last 5 years, but I still do not have a clearer understanding of it. What can you recommend?

First, a book: A Way of Being by Carl Rogers, 1980

With regards to telling if you are speaking authentically: Listen to yourself talk, as if a stranger was talking. Try not to identify too much with what you are saying. Then, observe. See if what you are saying makes you feel stronger, physically, or weaker. If it makes you feel weaker, stop saying it. Try to reformulate your speech until you can feel the ground under your feet solidifying. Then practice only saying things that make you strong.
Stop trying to use your speech to get what you want. You don’t necessarily know what you want. Instead, try to articulate what you believe to be true as carefully as possible. Then, accept the outcome. Assume that your truth, as lived and spoken, will produce the best possible outcome. It’s an act of faith.
But so is every other way of being.
  • guy ashby

    After listening to ‘The Psychology of Redemption’ i’m wondering if humans across all cultures have the same drive for redemption. Is it just christian-based societies? Would a crowd of indians or chinese or egyptians show up for a conference on the meaning of of life?

  • Peter

    Its good to see you blogging. Peterson is finally being unleashed to the world…

    I have a question for you: How do you resolve David Hume’s Is-Ought problem?

    • Eric

      Ought is.