I have a weird habit of looking up definitions of words (that I already know the definitions of) directly before using that word in a text or comment that I’m not 100% confident in. I know why I do it– to ease the anxiety. I think that if I know the exact definition of the word, then that is also the definition that person receiving the message will receive.*
In short, I want perfect communication. I want you to receive not only the message, but the intent behind the message. I do not want to be misunderstood.
But communication is imperfect, and even less perfect when it is only text. And looking up words does very little to solve the problem.
Instead of my incessant dictionary habit, maybe a better practice would be accepting the fact that misunderstanding can be simply a step to understanding if approached with curiosity rather than fear.
*yes, I realize this faulty logic as most people learn the meanings of words contextually– not by looking them up in a dictionary. BUT.