By Dr. Wormwood PhD
(Message intercepted by Jesse Jost)
Communication breakdown is an excellent way to destroy relationships. Historically this has been one of our greatest and most effective tools. I always marvel at how easy it is to use and how much damage it can cause. One of my favorite books is Jack Hornfield’s inspirational “Human Soup for the Demon’s Soul.” In it he includes story after touching story of countless marriages crumbling under the skillful use of communication breakdown. In this article, I will explore some tactics I have found very effective after centuries of seeking new means to bring down these loathsome creatures. I will show you the pitfalls to avoid and how to ensure that the lines of communication stay down. I know you will be inspired to use these simple tricks to bring ruin to your own subjects.
This area is so rich in possibilities for us in large part due to the fact that these human varmints have so much trouble communicating before we even get involved. All we have to do is monitor the situations, put a little twist in here and there, warp their perception, throw in a few mental distractions and “eureka!” – soon we have a delicious bevy of bitterness, anger, rejection, and loneliness. When we can break down their relationships, we can isolate them from each other. And when we get these humans alone, they are so much easier to pick off.
Let’s start by taking a look at the basics of Communication. Communication between humans consists of three core components. First is perception, the second is expression – or the sending of the message –, and the final component is understanding, or the receiving of the message. At each one of these points there is much potential for sabotage.
Let’s look at Perception. Humans are pathetic when it comes to their ability to see reality. They have so many factors that color the way they see things that they rarely, if ever, see things accurately. Their ability to assimilate information is so limited that they are forced to be selective in what they hear and selective in what they remember. This is where we enlightened angels do some of our greatest work. The possibilities for exploiting this weakness are endless. For example, get your subject to only pay attention when certain people are negative about him or her. Try to get him to forget all the times that other people are positive or encouraging. Soon you will have him writing off even positive people as nasty cranks to be avoided. Have fun with this! It is amazing how much we can affect their view of reality. I have made beautiful young girls feel like they are fat and ugly simply by channeling what they pay attention to and what they remember. I get so excited thinking about this.
It is also easy to exploit the fact that these rodents have a constant need to label others and form opinions of each other. What is so enticing about this is that they hardly every form these opinions carefully or objectively. Fortunately for us, once these opinions are formed they are rarely questioned, and humans don’t often see the need to do so, because they only see things that reinforce their judgments and ignore the things that don’t fit. For example, in my care, I had a husband who was married to an obnoxiously sweet little gal. My subject was a lazy lout who didn’t take the initiative in helping around the house, so consequently his wife often asked for help. I don’t mean to brag, but I took this situation and turned it into something ugly. Every time the wife would ask for help, I would whisper in his ear, “What a nag! She is so selfish; she doesn’t even appreciate what you do.” I’m not the giggly type, but I had to laugh when he took the bait! It was hilarious: Here was this lazy slob with a sweet hard working wife who treated him like a king, but once I colored his perception, all he noticed were the times she asked for help. He didn’t notice when she thanked him or all the ways that she served him. In his eyes, he was the overworked slave and she was the spoiled wife. Let me tell you, it was a thing of beauty!
Don’t miss this golden opportunity! Make sure you stay alert for ways to warp your human’s perception. You will be amazed at how easy it is. A few choice words whispered in their ears and you can get them to see whatever you want them to see. On a side note, this is one of the chief ways you can keep these rats away from God. Tell them that He is oppressive and demanding, and soon that’s all they will see.
Again, the potential in this area is endless. Tell your human that life has been unfair to them and reinforce this idea by only pointing out their hardships and other people who have it better. Get them to ignore all the good things in their life or those who have it worse.
Finally, develop in your victim a strong trust in his own perception; try to prevent him from questioning it. The more confident he is in his own abilities to perceive things accurately, the easier it will be to create false perceptions.
The second aspect of communication is the expression, or the sending of the message. These humans have come up with so many different ways of getting their message across that it’s hilarious, and they still can’t communicate. Their problem is that they’re not mind readers, so they’re forced to come up with symbols and codes to send verbal and nonverbal messages. They have a complicated system of words and sounds, to go along with gestures, facial expressions, and body languages. They each use words in slightly different ways. This is where the real breakdown often occurs – when the receiver assigns different meanings to symbols and codes than the sender intended. But where it gets even worse is the varied and complex ways they use body language and tone of voice. For one person using a loud tone of voice means only that he is excited, but for someone else, a loud tone means he is angry.
What is so ironic and a huge boon to us is that even though these varmints have a hard time understanding other people, they expect everyone else to understand exactly what they mean and they get impatient when they are misunderstood. Words, gestures, and tone don’t have the universal meaning humans often think they do. They don’t need much help from us in this department; they mess things up just fine without us. But on top of the fact that humans have trouble saying what they mean, they also say things they don’t mean. And this is where we can be very helpful.
Here are some ways you can complicate things. Tempt them to be dishonest and stretch the truth in ways that will benefit themselves. Humans have a huge need to have their ego stroked and to look good. They also have a strong fear of rejection and appearing stupid or unattractive, which makes them very reluctant to open up. Keep these feeling of insecurity strong. As long as they don’t open up, other people won’t know how they really feel and won’t be able to offer help. While I love to work with a blabbermouth as much as the next demon does, I also love the silent types. These creatures talk a lot about how much damage can be done by talking too much, but what few seem to realize is how valuable to our cause silence can be, as well. Words can do great damage, but words can also bring great healing. When people don’t talk, it leaves the situation wide open for us to play with their perceptions, and in the silence, grossly inaccurate assessments and judgments can be formed. Yes, silence is golden!
To make the most of this second component, influence your subject to focus more on self-expression rather than to think about how their message is coming across. A point that humans thankfully are very slow to get is this: No matter how eloquent they are, the only thing that gets communicated is what the other person receives and understands.
This brings us to the final part of communication, the understanding, or receiving. For whatever reason, humans have real trouble listening. And we can make it worse. This is an area where you can really shine. One of our biggest weapons has always been distraction. Now there are all sorts of natural distractions that prevent the message from getting across, things like noises, smells, or even headaches, exhaustion, or sickness. But the best kinds of distractions are mental distractions and two of the most effective are pride and insecurity. Stroke your victim’s pride; make him feel like he is an expert in understanding. This will cause him to assume he knows what a person is going to say before they actually say it, and will prevent him from hearing what the other person actually said. If that doesn’t work, increase your victim’s sense of insecurity. This will make him defensive. When a human is on the defensive, it is very difficult for him to hear what the other person is saying because he is so busy forming a defense and justifying himself.
Since humans listen so poorly when they are in self-defense mode, take advantage of this and encourage your subject to phrase things in such a way that will trigger defensiveness. When you can get these humans to use terms like “always” or “never”, the other person – rather than listening and trying to understand what the other person is saying – begins to think about exceptions to the rule. For example, I had a man who had a bad habit of being late for supper. The wife was so frustrated that one night she blew up and accused him of be always being late for supper. The man got defensive, said it wasn’t true. (He had been on time once the week before.) She got hurt because she felt like he was calling her a liar. The simple fact that she worded it “always” instead of “often” led to a beautiful mess. If she had said “often”, he would have been forced to admit responsibility and they would have been more likely to work things out, but because of that simple hyperbole, I sabotaged the conversation before it got off the ground.
In a similar way, get your victims to make accusatory “you” statements instead of “I” statements. Make sure you take note of this crucial point. It is a simple thing, but the results are so impressive. When a person starts out a conversation with you-statements such as “You are so stingy” or “You are so critical”, these are statements of judgment that make the other person become defensive and cause him to be closed to the convicting evidence, which is exactly what we want. What we don’t want is for the person to bring up the subject with an “I” statement. When a person says “I saw it this way,” Or “this is how it seemed to me,” this changes the focus in the wording and forces the second person to look at the situation from the first person’s point of view. This is a simple result, but it can be devastating to our strategy. Couples who learn to speak of their perceptions rather than make bold fact statements, and who learn to see things from each other’s point of view, become so much harder to sabotage.
In conclusion, I want to point out that the most important factor for causing communication breakdown is to encourage both parties to be preoccupied with themselves and their point of view. As long as both parties are trying first and foremost to be understood, they will never understand each other, and your job will be easy. Of course if these humans make their focus listening and understanding, they may become impervious to even our best efforts. I pray that day never comes.