Thursday, March 14, 2013

Communication Gone Bad

You can experience it anytime, anywhere, with anyone.

Being defensive. This is when you perceive what the other person is saying as a real threat and you try to argue back their points. In reality, the other person is not trying to attack you. Instead of being defensive, try to see how their point is constructive for you and ask them clarifying questions like "How do you mean by that? What's your point?" You might be surprised that they have meant something else and you have over-reacted for no reason.

Stone walling. This is when you put up a wall and pretty much block out everything the other person says. Example of stone walling is when somebody tries to lecture you and you have the attitude of "Whatever, I don't care, I'm not listening, etc." This could be bad in communication especially in relationships when the other person has something important to say. Eventually, not addressing the issue at hand could lead to a fail relationship. Instead of stone walling, try your hardest to show that you're listening by making gentle eye contact, getting the other person to calm down, sit down and talk things through.

Being Sarcastic. There’s a time and place for this, but when you are sarcastic it sends off the message that what the other person say is not taken seriously. Furthermore, if the other person is expecting a straightforward and honest answer, and you try to be sarcastic, the other person may feel blocked out. Instead of being sarcastic, you could say exactly what the other person wants to hear. 

Using humor. This is similar to the problems with being sarcastic. There’s a time and place for humor, but certain situations require you be sensitive and tactful. 

Not showing that you’re listening through your body language. You may be listening, but sometimes you don’t really pay attention to your body language. Your body language has to communicate that you’re listening too. For example, making eye contact, facing the other person directly, leaning forward towards the person, open body posture (not crossing arms etc). 

Not being entirely honest. This is when you try to be deceitful, give half truths, or leave out important information. If you’re talking to someone, the main thing a person looks for a genuineness. Genuineness is develop when you have nothing to hide. Certainly, we can’t be genuine in all our relationships, but if you truly respect the other person, you should try being vulnerable for once. Talk about your insecurities, what’s important to you, your values etc. 

Small Talk. I don’t know about you guys, but I personally feel small talk is so uncomfortable because everything is so superficial. Both sides are using trying to be friendly, pretending and trying to conceal something. If you’re good at this, then good for you, but for some people, this is really a turn off. Unless you’re an easy going person then maybe this doesn’t really apply to you. 

Being Too Serious. Opposite of using humor or sarcasm inappropriately is when you can’t keep the conversation light hearted. There are times when it’s really uncomfortable talking about serious or personal issues and it’s better to add a little humor to lighten the air. You have to be dynamic. 

Being Paranoid. This is when you assume that the other person has ill-intention and you become very biased in processing everything they say. For example, you hear from a friend that this person is not a good person and when you talk to them, you are already trying to look for those faults. Maybe there’s some truth in your friend’s warning, but if you never met this person, keep a benefit of doubt first. 

Source: here.