I had Kenyans friend living not far from my place. They've now moved to the UK. We keep in touch. The mother told me once that all their acquaintances had trouble with her daughter's name. Whenever she was asked about her name she'd answer:
- Tawa? Hum... what a lovely name..
- Not Tawa, Tawaa!
- Noooo, Ta-waaaaaaaa!
The acquaintances would turn to the mother
- C. do tell us please, what your girl's name?
To the girl:
- Oh, your name is Tara!?
- Yes. Tawa.
I went to CMLH's and read about MIM. I read the post CMLH referred to and somehow was reminded of The Problem of Tara's Name. About how we hear what we want to hear. How prone we are to making up meanings of what we hear.
Communication is not just expressing oneself. Its a to and fro with to be followed steps:
- Saying it
- the confirmation that we've been heard
- listening to the other party
- confirming that we've heard him right
These seemingly simple sequences have a number of traps. The other party, in fact, does not react to what we've said but rather to what he hears in what has been said and more importantly to the way what we've said touches him. “not being on the same page” issues are thus inevitable between what one actually meant to say and what the other heard and vice versa.
This is one of the major problems, if not the number one problem of communication. Its not a communication any more. Its a monologue dialogue. Where you're the only one to get what you're saying.
MIM ended up switching off her comments. Why? Because, apparently, some people do not expect and resent you for THEY not seeing eye to eye with you on certain issues. Seems like we're blogging communication problem to me.