Monday, 27 March 2006

Come again!

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!
- Tawa? Hum... what a lovely name..
- Not Tawa, Tawaa!
- Tawa?
- Noooo, Ta-waaaaaaaa!

The acquaintances would turn to the mother

- C. do tell us please, what your girl's name?
- Tara.

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.


Egan said...

People are funny et c'est la vie. J'aime beaucoup les commentaires.

suleyman said...

I don't get what all of the hostility is about. I think the internet makes people more mean and abusive than they would be in person.


ChickyBabe said...

With any communication there are bound to be problems, and with a medium such as blogging, where some people can seem invisible, there's bound to be misunderstandings. In most cases, these are resolved, and people do what is best for them, even if it means switching off comments.

Fitèna said...

Egan, tu le dis, c'est la vie!

Suley, It doesn't make them, I think they're already so in person.

Chicky, I believe its a pity that one should have to resort to switching off comments which isn't even a solution. But you're right, there ARE bound to be misunderstandings. It all depends on how they're tackled though.


Mahd said...

I know that I misread other blogs too often. I guess we see things we want to see in them...

Fitèna said...

Mahd, misreading is one thing and misinterpreting another thing. Even so, we just cannot agree with everybody but the savoir vivre would be to just state your point of view and go ahead with it not ausing others for having different opinions, non?

GirlGoyle said...

Came across your blog and I like it! I was most attracted by the symbol you are using (map of Africa) as I have lived throughout it for 25 years and miss it very much! You do a great job writing. Sometimes it's hard to convey what one thinks on paper for others to understand. Keep blogging!

Fitèna said...

Girlgoyle (what does goyle mean?), thank you! Where did you live in Africa?
You're right aout that, I tend to think about so much to write and find myself unable to express in words. You know, the sort of feelings you just cannot find words for and when you do, they don't sound gopod enough.

Claire said...

The Tawa/Tara story made me laugh.

atpanda said...

Its the same thing as email. Because you can't add inflection to what you're saying, things often get confused. Boo on the bad bloggers!

Fitèna said...

Claire, me too! When I heard about it!

Atpanda, Thats the spirit! Boo on the ad bloggers!