Communication, how not to do it

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Serpentia
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Communication, how not to do it

Postby Serpentia » 28 Aug 2014, 12:35

"Person1: "Am I bothering you?" Person 2: "No."
Later on, Person 1: "Are you sure I'm not bothering you?" Person 2: "Yes, I'm sure."
Later on still, Person 1: "I'm sure I'm bothering you." Person2: "You only bother me when you keep saying that you're bothering me!"

I stole this wonderful excerpt from on another thread here in the forum and adjusted it a bit to make my point. I'm sure most of us have been in very similar conversations, where a person (some may be tempted to say, a woman.... :shrug: ) does not state what they want to state, but instead uses this technique to...

Well, that is the question, isn't it?

Serpentia, pondering the questions of implicit and explicit communication
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MountainGnome
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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby MountainGnome » 28 Aug 2014, 19:25

I used to see jokes about how men mean exactly what they say and women often mean the opposite of what this say, and how this causes confusions. I thought it was just a silly stereotype until I found myself seeing the same thing in my current relationship. It's not a horrible thing, but it does make for... interesting conversations.

When I say, "everything is fine," I mean exactly that. Everything is fine. Though, she doesn't always believe me. And when my girlfriend says "no, everything is fine..." she often means something else, and I either have to try to talk her into explaining what she denies exists in the first place, or else take her word for it and then risk having someone who secretly is bothered by something that I don't understand.

Anyway I'm still trying to figure all this out myself. :P

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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby WaffleBox » 28 Aug 2014, 19:48

I used to see jokes about how men mean exactly what they say and women often mean the opposite of what this say, and how this causes confusions. I thought it was just a silly stereotype until I found myself seeing the same thing in my current relationship. It's not a horrible thing, but it does make for... interesting conversations.

When I say, "everything is fine," I mean exactly that. Everything is fine. Though, she doesn't always believe me. And when my girlfriend says "no, everything is fine..." she often means something else, and I either have to try to talk her into explaining what she denies exists in the first place, or else take her word for it and then risk having someone who secretly is bothered by something that I don't understand.

Anyway I'm still trying to figure all this out myself. :P
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Aphritha
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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby Aphritha » 28 Aug 2014, 22:16

:D According to this conversations, I am a man and my husband is a woman! Sex ed was wrong....;)
Another oddity is when people ask you "how are you" and get perplexed when you tell them...


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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby MountainGnome » 29 Aug 2014, 03:02

Well I believe both of you.

But it just adds to the confounding nature of this mystery I think. :wall:

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Serpentia
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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby Serpentia » 29 Aug 2014, 10:10

Yes, Aphrita, I know how it feels. My new husband finds it refreshing that he can rely on me to "tell it how it is", but my experience in the past with other men is that they simply will not believe me!!! Here I go breaking a stupiditype - and it's not accepted. They don't believe me! This seems to be so very much ingrained in people that you ca :old: and :old: until you're :boggle:

So, how do we sit straight?
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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby Mountainheart » 29 Aug 2014, 17:22

Interesting conversation :-)

I find that I have a different issue in that my wife and I often have detailed discussions about something (often about our children!) but then each have a different understanding of the outcome of the discussion when we come back to the issue at a later date. My wife gets quite upset when this happens, believing that it means we have a communications problem. I tend to think that we both remember the parts of the conversation which are the most important to us; minimising the parts which seem less important; and this is fairly normal in detailed conversations. We've started trying to agree a summary of the conversation when we've finished to avoid misunderstandings.

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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby laurelcrown » 22 Sep 2014, 08:55

I think that it's common for women to communicate in an indirect way because they're conditioned to be gentle, to be agreeable, to be non-confrontational, etc. It's something I really had to train myself out of - I wouldn't blame women who communicate this way, as it feels like the most polite and correct thing to do for them, even if they are frustrated by it also.

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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby WildOak » 28 Nov 2014, 06:57

I think that it's common for women to communicate in an indirect way because they're conditioned to be gentle, to be agreeable, to be non-confrontational, etc. It's something I really had to train myself out of - I wouldn't blame women who communicate this way, as it feels like the most polite and correct thing to do for them, even if they are frustrated by it also.
I haven't really thought about this before now, but that makes a lot of sense. Yes, I think it is mainly due to conditioning. Which would also account for people who are exceptions to the rule.

I'm usually very direct myself, but I did have a bad habit of saying "sorry" all the time, even though there was no reason for me to apologize. I think I was in my early 20s when I noticed and decided I shouldn't be doing that, and then it took a couple years to train myself out of that.

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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby PeteBranduir » 28 Nov 2014, 14:09

I think that it's common for women to communicate in an indirect way because they're conditioned to be gentle, to be agreeable, to be non-confrontational, etc. It's something I really had to train myself out of - I wouldn't blame women who communicate this way, as it feels like the most polite and correct thing to do for them, even if they are frustrated by it also.
This is exactly it, and highlights the sad state of inequality in society.
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Re: Communication, how not to do it

Postby butterflymelody » 25 Mar 2016, 17:14

I think that it's common for women to communicate in an indirect way because they're conditioned to be gentle, to be agreeable, to be non-confrontational, etc. It's something I really had to train myself out of - I wouldn't blame women who communicate this way, as it feels like the most polite and correct thing to do for them, even if they are frustrated by it also.
I would have to agree with this too and it's something that I'm also working to train myself out of doing.

Oftentimes, softening your language is the only way to get heard, which is why you hear a lot of women in particular saying, "I think such and such is true" instead of "Such and such is true." Being confrontational and drawing boundaries as a woman can get you called an angry bitch at the least and at most get you involved in a physical confrontation. I've heard people call Hillary Clinton a "bitter old woman" who "always seems angry" despite the fact that she doesn't really yell; she just says things very directly and with authority.

It's the fear of getting hurt or getting called crazy that leads us to speak in a more gentle way. I've seen men get very angry when women claimed their physical space, such as not letting them do the "spread eagle" posture on public transportation. And when someone calls you "crazy," suddenly the burden of proof is on you to prove that you aren't.

Women don't do these things for no reason; there are some real social advantages, including staying physically safe, to not being direct. That's not to say that men don't change their language either; it just depends on how confident a person feels asserting dominance in a situation.


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