Cannot Not – Communicate

One cannot not communicate: Every behaviour is a kind of communication. Because behaviour does not have a counterpart (there is no anti-behaviour), it is not possible not to communicate.

From Wikipedia entry on Paul Watzlawick

Much food for thought.

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5 thoughts on “Cannot Not – Communicate”

  1. Yes, indeed! Even ‘not doing’ is doing. This reminded me of two favourite ‘zen’ sayings which I have on my wall:

    ‘The wonderful thing about Zen practice is that you get to do it whether you like it or not’


    ‘Karma means you don’t get away with nothin’.’ (Attributed to someone called Ruth Denison.)

    These two things really help to keep me focussed!

  2. I think most communication involves sender and receiver, but all communication depends only on receiver. What someone does is not always communication; but what someone sees or senses is always communication because we can’t not interpret what we see, even if it’s just from oneself to ones self.
    This I say, and agree.
    This all makes sense,
    You’ll see.

  3. I do feel that we cannot NOT communicate even when we sit still looking at a wall, we are communicating something. Yes? What is ‘heard’ by others is…out of our hands. So keeping our intention as clear and honest as possible (precepts) is significant. Well, that’s the way I see it now. I don’t think this contradicts you….

  4. Dear Chris,
    I am on a connection in a cafe. As you know my internet connection is…not connected! Thanks for the quotes, I like em both and especially the first one. I think I might elevate that to a post now.

  5. I intentionally tried to post a ‘non comment’ by entering nothing in the comment box – but the system wouldn’t allow it!

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