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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:36 pm 
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Location: Randolph Ma USA
As we continue to exchange or thoughts, views and ideas, we often misunderstand the actual meaning and/or intent of others.

As many agree, writting on the internet leaves out the opportunity for reading ones body language, facial expression and/or "tone" of ones voice that gives one a better indication of ones meaning.

However, even with all of that being present, we still often misread ones intent of comments. How is that ?

Surely many key words in chosen statements may have various meanings to them. Because they do, many of us will tend to automatically assume the meaning is what we "percieve" it to be rather than what it is "intended" to be.

Excited or passionatly expressed views are often interpretted as "hostile" or "aggresive". When actually it is ones "personality" that is reflected in the content of discussion.

Many of us have "defence" mechanisms that respond to others in a "defensive" way to everything that is posted or said. Feeling that others are being personal when they are actual not.

I am quilty of it myself quite often as it appears to be a "social" defect in that a vast amount of people feel a need to defend theselves to general comments and statements. Then of course, there are those who "intentially" make comments, gestures and digs at others in an attempt to gain attention and feel superiority of others.

As we discuss "verbal self defense" on this forum, i question just how it is that we are suppose to communicate respecfully and comfortably with others who are very quick to go to "defense" and often become aggresive in confrontational situations ?

Surely being careful what and how we say is the first precaution.

Avoidence of "esculation" of verbal challenge by not responding, clearifying intent or allowing the other to feel important, tough or whatever "ego" is in need of stimulation can also help one sidestep an esculation to a physical confrontation.

As i discussed with another senior who has been in more real situations than myself, once we decide to open or mouths in potential confrontation, one needs be ready to back it up, instantly ! For that is how fast it becomes real.

Are people who live in heavily populated towns and cities more apt to be "on the edge" with the fast pace of life and responsibilities that continue to grow ?

Are ther any readers who are educated in the "social" or "psycological" areas of behavioural study that may be knowledgable in this area ?

Any opinions or ideas ?


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Gary S.


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2000 9:00 pm 
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Posts: 670
good post Gary.

You've brought up an excellent point about the ego being involved in many confrontations. Luckily, that's usually the only thing that gets bruised. If someone has a deep rooted need to behave boorishly to stroke his ego, I say shut up and let them.

The only time clarification or correction of a message is required is when there is a relationship that has to continue, either social or professional.

I have a set of tapes about dealing with and managing anger and emotion I've been promissing to drop of at the BUKA for Len. I'd like them to be available for loan through Len for those who'd like to borrow them.

Kevin

I'll bring them Monday nite.

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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2000 12:04 am 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Kevin:

How about a summary of some of the key topics on the tapes?

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GEM


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2000 2:38 pm 
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The set is a taped seminar that is geared towards managing conflict, anger, and emotion. It deal with interactions in the workplace, but the concepts can be used in any situation.

It’s about dealing with anger, yours and others. We can’t control others but we can control how we respond to them.

Anger is natural yet needs to be managed by getting direct control over it. “Managing” would refer to long term olutions. “Coping” would be short term. I myself would put “managing” into work, family, and social situations where you have a history of behavior to work with and a desire to maintain a relationship. “Coping” is what one deals with in the transient hostile situation, i.e. verbal or physical threats that require immediate response and resolution.

A basic concept is to move away from both passive and aggressive towards the assertive role. In my view, one aspect of being assertive, “demonstrating caring about the other person” may not apply in a short term, hostile situation.

Stress is evidenced by: a sense of hostility towards someone, a fight or flight response, or risky behavior such as reacting without thinking.

The stress, (which could be anger, fear, surprise), arises out of an event, that causes an emotional trigger that we may perceive a certain way based on our own experience. We have control over the stress by how we react.

Our reaction or behavior can be used to maintain control. Focus on the positive, not negative. Focusing on issues, not personalities, focus on facts, not emotions, lowering the volume, these all serve to de-escalate. Focus on what you have control over and what you want the outcome to be. My read on that is: if you wish the outcome of a confrontation to be a lasting relationship, focus on methods to accomplish this; make a connection, show empathy etc. If you want the outcome to be the other guy writhing in on the ground in pain, focus on what you can control to accomplish that.

The strategies outlined are good to a point and will probably be sufficient in a great many confrontations. In fact, one source of further reading in the accompaning pamphlet is Susette Haden Elgin’s “Success With the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense”. The problem with dealing with confrontation with verbal responses only is that we condition ourselves to become adept at the verbal only. There may come a time when the conflict reaches a point where negotiation has ended and a genuine need to survive arises. This is where the martial side of self-defense come in. Total self defense comes from programming a complete set of responses, verbal and physical.

Kevin



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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2000 2:53 pm 
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Location: Brockton, MA, USA
Kevin

Thank you for offering to share these tapes with us. I will study them when you bring them down to the BUKA and then anyone who wishes to borrow them, may pick them up there.

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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2000 1:15 am 
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Location: Randolph Ma USA
Kevin,

Great input ! Thank you for your in depth explanation as i agree with a lot of it.

However, even though i "understand" it, the responce to conversations and situations still tend to esculate verbally allowing the adrenal to rise slightly as many of us tend to want our veiws to be heard and understood.

Many times it is percieved that one does not understand our intent simply because they may not actually agree with us.

Slowing done the conversation and lowering the tone of it obviously will help to de-esculate the "excitability" that accompanies such interaction.

Knowing something is not always as easy as "practicing" it. Is it now ?

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Gary S.


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2000 3:55 pm 
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Knowing something is not always as easy as "practicing" it. Is it now ?

Absoultely

Please see the Basics: RTPV thread for a follow up to this statement.


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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2000 12:37 pm 
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How often do we start an argument with someone and then later use VSD to de-escalate it. I am guilty of this sometimes.

I let my emotions take over first and sometimes say things that will provoke and trigger an attack. Only after I know that an exchange may take place do I begin to de-escalate. Fortunately for me it has been successful.

Are there any others who do this? I think there may be some that will not care about provoking. Some have already made up their minds that once they begin an emotional tirade, it will cause the other person to attack and therefore a self-defense counterattack is justified.

Does anybody think this could happen to you?

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Len Testa


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 Post subject: Communication perception
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2000 1:49 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Good point Len. Not sure if people do this deliberately or not, but to me, it is a common practice of many "A" personalities.

We see this attempt by strong people to see how far they can push another person before the 'lamb' pushes back. Often, there is no physical intimidation involved. Woman are as guilty as men. I try not to verbally head butt the agressor, but sometimes this is the only way to get their attention.

Anyone else notice this trait in certain people? How do you cope (or not cope) with agressive verbal behavior?

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GEM


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