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  #91  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:25 PM
marksbabygirl marksbabygirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I hate the way that sounds because it implies that communication is "violent" by default.
Listen to kids talk to each other. Listen to parents talking to their kids. Listen to people talking on the street.

Communication IS violent. It is brutal and painful and frustrating.

People talk about brutal honesty. They talk about "softening the blow." Words hurt more and the pain lasts longer than a beating.

I still have words reverberating in my head from my childhood that affect me today and colour how I see my relationships with other people. We all do.

I agree - that it's not the best choice of descriptors - but communication IS violent until we're taught differently.
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  #92  
Old 12-03-2010, 11:10 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I hate the way that sounds because it implies that communication is "violent" by default.
I think it just implies that communication CAN be violent, and that if yours is, you can work on getting better at non-violent communication.
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  #93  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default Communication Issues

At risk of starting a war (not my point at all); I am quoting something written on the board back in November 2009. It was so valid regarding how easily communication can go awry and whose responsibility it is to deal with that. I think we could all learn a lot from. The second quote is a response to the first. They were discussing an "argument" on the board that lasted some 17 pages-primarily due to....
you guessed it, communication issues.

Here we are on a poly-board, filled with "poly-peeps" who spend so much time addressing the importance of communication for relationships, and a conversation broke down to the point of ostracizing signficant posters enough that they were leaving the board. Additionally, the "volitility" was so signficant that many new posters were ready to leave the board (and some did) because it was just a caustic environment.
Why?
You guessed it-communication issues!

It's all good and well to talk about the importance of communicating-but if we don't actually practice improving it... what does all of that talk matter?



And so-I thought it was worth readdressing the topic of communication again a little over a year later.
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  #94  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:08 PM
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first quote...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli
I'm just going to address this point because for me, it's the most important and speaks to how these breakdowns happen.

The issue was in the language used, not the assumptions made. There were no unstated co-premises. The premises were directly drawn from the language used in the original statements, and further supported by additional replies. If a person says one thing but means something else, then it is that person's responsibility to clarify. What I drew were false conclusions because the language that was used was not expressing the intent of the person using it. That is not the same as making false assumptions. And all of that would have been easily solved if things were clarified rather than taken as an attack.
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  #95  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:10 PM
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The meaningful reply to that quote.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
This is an area where you and I may have to agree to disagree.

Language is not an exact thing. The same words can have different meanings depending on context, both in conversation and the larger society. And I really don't care how much training in English you, or anyone else may have. I don't care if this had been brought up by Strunk and White. No single person is the end all be all authority of what the words mean. And no one, and I mean No One, on this board is expert enough at communication, English, and all regional nuances to be 100% sure of what is meant by any non-trivial expression in an environment such as this.

The poster meant what they meant, and wrote a port attempting to express what they meant. English being imprecise, that expression may be interpreted by a receiver as meaning something different.
You read the post, and drew false conclusions from it.

You're placing all the responsibility on the sender to ensure the words express their intent.

If that is the case, then how did your own statements get mistaken for attacks? What words did you use? How should you have written them instead? Why do you still not realize how your words could be taken for an attack, when that was not your intent, even when people have told you over and over and over again that your comments were being hurtful to them? Could it be for the same reason that the poster of your targeted statement did not understand why you came to your mistaken conclusion that was different from his intent, regardless of how many times your said over and over and over again?

By your own statement above, it would be your responsibility to clarify your intent and change your words accordingly.

And if people are harping on you on this it is simply to hold you to the same standard that you yourself put up for them.


Here's my view:
Communication is a two way street, and the responsibility relies with both the sender and the receiver. The sender may have to revise the expression for the sender to understand the true meaning. The receiver has to feedback to the sender to make sure they actually understand what is being said. BOTH have to be listening....and BOTH are responsible.

You wanted the original words changed. They were.
Others have wanted an apology from you...a part of which you've offered, and it's up to them if they accept that as complete.

Mono has express the lynchpin of this and why he took it as personal...part which even I missed in the very title of the thread.
This may be a good lesson to take away from this. If someone wants to discuss an abstract ideas like language, philosophy, etc, that come up as part of a discussion, then maybe it should be removed from the immediate context of the persons involved and the original thread.


I'm going to wrap this up with a parable from my own life:
In Elementary school, I was having lunch on day. At the table across from me was a fellow A, whom I had considered a friend, but lately he had become involved with other kids that I didn't get along with so well, and joining in with them at my expense. So I wasn't feeling so good about A, feeling as if there had been some betrayal he had visited upon me.
When A opened his lunchbox, he took out a banana that was way past prime. Bad fruit, bad apple thought I...and I made a passing remark at him, "hey, it's just like you A, ...rotten". My intent: To let A know that I thought he had been a 'rotten' friend.

I barely had the words out of my mouth when the rest of the table broke out in an outroar about what I had said, and they immediately started hounding on me about my statement mercilessly! I thought I had told A that he was a rotten friend, ...something which would not be out of line, so I couldn't understand for the life of me why everyone else was so upset at me.

All I could do was sit and stare blankly at them, and A sat staring blankly at me. The ruckus was so bad the teacher had to come over right away, and took A and I outside the room to work out our differences.

Now, I'll put the rest of the context back to explain the Table's side...
In my other post I assume that most people do not believe in the -isms anymore. This had a lot to do with going through school when I did when they were erasing -isms from young minds before they'd take hold. I don't know if the timing was related to the country's spanky new 4 year old constitution which included a charter of rights and freedoms, but suffice to say, -ism's were bad. I knew it, and I accepted it, I embraced it. So had all the other kids in the class.

The school I attended was about as diverse as the class you would see watching South Park. There was about 5 kids across 2 classrooms that would be considered visible minorities.
Since -isms were wrong, no one picked on them, they picked on the redread. (This isn't actually cause and effect...the minority kids were well integrated into the social cliques, and the redhead kid was easy to pick on)

By now I think everyone can see the train wreck coming.
The banana that was way past prime had turned brown. I don't know from where, but A's family would have immigrated at some point from India, so his complexion was a similar colour to that of the banana.

Apparently no one heard me say the word "rotten"...they only heard the word "brown" and they immediately jumped all over me for it. They thought I had just made a statement about A's skin colour, so and concluded I must be making a racist comment and they were going to take me to task for it.

Me? I was bewildered because I could not understand them...I did not understand what they were mad at me for. It simply did not make sense to me why they were so upset at my comment. All I said was that A was rotten, as the banana was rotten.

Eventually, when things calmed down, I discovered what they interpreted. Their interpretation was something to the effect of: A is brown like the banana, so therefore A is rotten like the banana.

Speaking about how language is imprecise, I do not yet know if there is a word to describe the depths of my feeling when I discovered what those other kids had interpreted from my words. Mortified, horrified, crushed, none of them even come close. -isms were wrong, and racism was one of the worst IMO. There simply had been no link in my mind between the colour of the banana and the colour of his skin. It was so far out of my mind it took 12 kids yelling it at me to finally realize that they HAD made that connection in interpreting my words. Not only was it unacceptable to think that way for me, but I had 12 kids attacking me for thinking in a way that both they and I considered morally wrong. The accusations of being racist absolutely destroyed me.

Nothing I say here can really do justice to the emotions I felt that say, suffice to say it was one of the most traumatic moments of my formative years. While I believe A accepted my profuse and immediate apology for what was interpreted, I don't think I was ever able to explain it strongly enough how separate the issue of colour was in my mind.


Was my intent wrong? No.

Were my words wrong? No.

Was the receivers understanding of the meaning different from my intent? Yes

Why? They drew (what they thought) were logical implications due to similarities in colour of the nouns contained in the sentence.

Were their objections based on their interpretation understandable? Yes. They would have made Ceoli very proud. And if the interpretation had been correct, I would have been agreed with them.

Were their conclusions incorrect? Yes.

Did I feel attacked? Hell yes!

Did I clarify my meaning to A and offer recompense? Damn right I did!

Did he accept my apology so that we could both move on without hard feelings, or leftover impressions between him or others thinking I was racist? Yes.

Did I ever get an apology from the 12 kids that jumped all over me? No. It would have been nice though. It would have been great value to me, at little cost to them.

Was this an example of effective communication in a safe environment for sharing ideas? Not what happened in the lunchroom.
The one on one with A in the hallway we could speak calmly and explain exactly what each other meant in both directions...yes.

Would I ever want to see this kind of experience revisited on anyone?? Not even if they were my worst enemy!
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  #96  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:13 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Honestly the biggest problem I see... it people forget that communication goes two ways. They forget there is a receiver. Communication becomes inherently selfish and controlling.

Understanding who you are talking to and how they communicate helps a lot.
Understanding how you communicate helps to.

Diverging communication styles can create conflict but it can also make for some great conversations.

Too often in poly we see people espouse communicate communicate communicate. And really they are just blabbing to themselves. The person listening has a job in order to listen, but so does the speaker.
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  #97  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:18 PM
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Very much agreed Ari.
I think I have miscommunication down to a fine art with my beloveds....



Link to more on communication....


http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1632
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Last edited by NeonKaos; 03-28-2011 at 08:21 PM.
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  #98  
Old 03-29-2011, 04:17 PM
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Following the quotes without noticing they led to other threads caused me to originally post this in the wrong place. I edited it out and am posting it here.

I'm catching up (with some fascination) on the breakdown of communication that happened originally as it illustrates some common problems that I see arising between otherwise reasonable people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Find another way to approach the topic and stop injecting broken record, petty and unproductive arguments please. I've heard it all before, am completely aware that some people simply need to feel right in order to move on, which will never happen by the way so feel free to expend as much energy as you wish. This is a public forum so feel free to publicly beat your head against a brick wall.

It's really too bad because it takes away from the value of other comments which are very productive.
The parts I bolded are important, I believe, because I've seen so many conversations derailed because the discussion becomes about being right rather than reaching a consensus, solving a problem, or whatever other goal the conversation was meant to accomplish.

Productive communication is not a pissing contest. More people need to learn this.
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  #99  
Old 03-29-2011, 05:36 PM
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Default Communication Bully

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny View Post
I've seen so many conversations derailed because the discussion becomes about being right rather than reaching a consensus, solving a problem, or whatever other goal the conversation was meant to accomplish.

Productive communication is not a pissing contest. More people need to learn this.
Gonna take it a step further. Something I've been thinking about a lot over the past few days and feeling the relief of is something that Charlie taught me: The ultimate safety in communication that actually leads to consensus/closeness/problem solving is agreeing that it's okay to just talk without having to solve everything all at once, or solve anything at all.

Charlie told Catfish and me a story about one of his past relationships a little while ago that has really changed the way I think about having conversations about important things. He said something to the effect that the lady was in a relationship with would demand that they stay put and talk until whatever issue they were discussing had been resolved. This did not work.

That put so much pressure on both of them to somehow figure it all out, even if it took all night, that it defeated both of their attitudes toward any sort of progress or natural conversation because it was an unrealistic and hostile demand. It made him want to walk out immediately, and caused some very heated situations when he needed a breather or hit a wall and just wanted to go to bed or take a few deep breaths, but she attempted to force him to talk until the bitter end of the issue.

If it is safe to not know the solution, to just feel comfortable saying how you feel, to be able to say that you would like to think more about something before the conversation continues and have the person you are talking to respect and honor that- and fucking drop it for a minute- I think that is a surer way to making progress than demanding it all be solved before you can walk away and get your head on straight before coming back to it when it feels good to do so.

I have seen myself force conversation this way; because I was so anxious to find a solution or to say what I had to say and get feedback that I have backed people into corners where all they could do was tell me what they thought I wanted to hear to make me back off. Obviously that did not help the situation, and only muddied the waters, causing more arguments because then you have the element of "Oh, well you said that- how can I trust what you say if you are going to change your mind about it every five minutes?!". In reality, the person had time to think without being stared down and discovered how they really felt about it.

This is one way I can see the bully in myself that my friend Charlie won't stand for. I feel better about all the work we have to do knowing that I can relax and listen more if I let go, let go, let go of my expectations and predictions, and stay conscious of never forcing anyone to do anything. It means so much more to be given the gift of a free and patient heart than to force and manipulate answers and outcomes in the name of progress and problem solving.

-R
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Last edited by NeonKaos; 03-29-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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  #100  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:07 PM
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Yeah, sometimes you just gotta sit on something for a while, let it percolate or digest or ferment. Sometimes you need to take a bit of time to get some distance from the emotion in order to analyze things logically and sanely.

You have to be able to table a conversation and let cooler heads prevail, or to be able to ask for time to think. Also, you have to actually do the cooling and the thinking and get back to the other person in a timely manner so when you ask for this time they'll know you aren't just blowing them off.

Trust builds on itself that way.
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