Susan and Martin Fisher are pioneers in the study and research of the 9 Natural Numbers. With over thirty years of combined research and experience with Body of 9, their work has led to many new discoveries and a deeper understanding of the importance, power, and impact of knowing your Natural Number and learning to consciously use this aspect of your body.
Interpersonal communication has been intensely studied for as long as humankind has had the capability to reason. Originally studied by some as a way of understanding how to get along better within small tribes, improving communication has become the basis of philosophies, methodologies and industries trying to help bridge the communication gap.
If we skip the litany of solutions for now, and focus on the underlying description of the structure of interpersonal communication, the supposition is that communication revolves around three elements: body language, vocal tone and the words used. The relative impact of each of those elements varies depending on which report one reads, but for this discussion, assigning relative impact is less important than realizing that this approach misses a fundamental truth about our bodies that minimizes any solution that doesn’t incorporate this missing information. In this article, I will describe this missing context and how it enables us to use our bodies to improve our communications.
Personality Assessment Tools
You are probably aware of personality assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder or the Enneagram. These tools are based on observed behaviors of groups of people, the grouping of which is segmented by responses to questionnaires designed to expose how an individual would respond to a situation. In other words, how you think you would behave puts you in the group of people who shares your behavior, and predictions are made about your future behavior based on the stereotypical behavior of others in the same group. The obvious pitfall here being that how one answers on the questionnaire (which group you are placed in) is as much guided by external influences, your nurture if you will, as it is your nature, how you would answer without the “shoulds and coulds” of your life experiences.
It turns out that these assessment tools are also founded on a physical reality that is not taken into account in the psychological model. Using the understanding of the physical difference between people, it is possible to assess people in a more accurate way based on their inherent nature, to more accurately determine their reality. My wife, Susan Bennett Fisher, and I have been researching how to see a person’s true nature since 2012, and after working with over 8000 people, we have discovered that there are nine different fundamental body types that we call Natural Numbers. In our bodies there are 9 centers comprised of different muscles, fascia and bones, and one of these centers is active in each of us from birth and does not change. The active center, your Natural Number, shapes not only how your body develops, but how you move, what you care about, how you process data, how you form relationships, how you use your eyes, and how you interpret words. In other words, your communication style is also shaped by your Natural Number.
Your unique communication style
You might ask, so what? What has this concept of Natural Numbers got to do with communication? We have found that Natural Numbers don’t repeat in families. You and your parents, and siblings do not share a Natural Number. It is also rare for people of the same Natural Number to even date! This means that those you love and who love you do not get how you experience the world and what you care about. In fact, what is important to them is quite different, and you probably don’t make sense to them. That said, when you introduce the understanding of the Natural Numbers into relationships, communication and understanding gets better.
After listening to the life experiences of 8000 people from around the world, of all races, ages and genders, it is clear that while people of the same Natural Number can communicate fairly well, people with different Natural Numbers can find communication difficult. Going back to the original premise that communication is about body language, tone and words, it becomes clear that our bodies don’t easily read body language of a person of a different Natural Number, nor do we assign accurate meaning to the tone used by a different Natural Number, and the same word often has a different meaning to each of the 9 Natural Numbers. While it may be the case that these are the three components of communication, without understanding and acknowledging that there are 9 different ways we show up in the world, it makes it hard to progress in improving our communication.
How to improve communication
How then do we use our bodies to improve communication? Even without knowing your own Natural Number, there are a number of things you can do.
- The first step is acknowledging and accepting that eight out of nine of the people around you are really different from you, at a body-based level. At a minimum, relax into not-disbelieving that people are different from you – it allows your body to listen with curiosity.
- Pay attention and listen to your body, even if you don’t know your Natural Number. If you trust your body to decode messages from others without judging the reason behind the message through your own lens, you can cut down misunderstandings. Other people’s motivations for action are not the same as yours, and unless you actively hold yourself neutrally, without judgement and ask them to explain, you’ll probably be wrong.
- Cultivate curiosity, wonder and awe when communicating – be curious about where others are coming from, stay open to possibility by using curious inquiry. And rather than immediately judging and jumping to conclusions about intent and meaning, hold others with wonder and awe looking for the gift they are offering in their communication. This perspective helps keep the mind out of judging.
- You can also activate your Natural Number with a simple physical exercise. While standing or sitting, allow yourself to gently slump forward. Then slowly, with a slow count of three, sit or stand up as straight as possible. This exercise allows your body to align itself from your Natural Number movement center, and creates a natural and easy activation of your connection to your body-based wisdom.
It turns out your body knows more about communication than you think. Going back to and trusting the knowing wisdom within the body, quieting the mind, the judge and the interpreter, and allowing your body to make sense of what is happening, can help a lot toward easier and open communication.