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Author Topic: Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)  (Read 3293 times)

veggiewolf

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Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)
« on: May 28, 2013, 12:45:15 pm »
Every day, we use words to communicate.  Whether by writing, or speaking, we try to get our ideas across to others - to spread knowledge, to discuss issues, to ask questions.  

But often, in our quest to converse we don't pay attention to the fundamental skill of using words that fit what we're trying to convey.  We hedge, we "beat around the bush", we use terminology that sounds nice to us but means something entirely different.  And, as we're human, when this is pointed out we often take offense.

Communication is a life skill; I'd go so far as to say it qualifies as an Activity of Daily Living (ADL), although I'm sure people out there disagree with me.  In looking at it this way, one of the small things I am working on is using language that means the things I am trying to say...and trying to encourage others to do this too.

Is communication something on which you're working?  What do you to to keep it in the forefront of your mind?  If you're not working on it, is it something you feel is important?  Why or why not?
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DancesWithHorses

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Re: Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 01:55:34 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;110146
Every day, we use words to communicate.  Whether by writing, or speaking, we try to get our ideas across to others - to spread knowledge, to discuss issues, to ask questions.  

But often, in our quest to converse we don't pay attention to the fundamental skill of using words that fit what we're trying to convey.  We hedge, we "beat around the bush", we use terminology that sounds nice to us but means something entirely different.  And, as we're human, when this is pointed out we often take offense.

Communication is a life skill; I'd go so far as to say it qualifies as an Activity of Daily Living (ADL), although I'm sure people out there disagree with me.  In looking at it this way, one of the small things I am working on is using language that means the things I am trying to say...and trying to encourage others to do this too.

Is communication something on which you're working?  What do you to to keep it in the forefront of your mind?  If you're not working on it, is it something you feel is important?  Why or why not?

 
Yes, communication is something I try to work on. A lot. I'm far away from my friends right now so most communication is done by text and email. That makes it tough to present my feelings in a clear and easy way. But at the same time, it forces me to be clearer in my written communication. It's a skill that needs to learned because its so important for life. Anything in life, from work to relationships, depends on good communication to be maintained.

For me, I'm constantly reminding myself to re-read what I wrote (as said, a lot of texts). And to think about what I want to say, before saying it. That has been harder. But dealing with an alcohol and anger problem sort of helps. I learned how to keep my mouth shut when not sober or when angry. Same went for depression, which I still fight and that destroys a lot of my life mostly because I was unable to communicate how I felt and what I wanted to say in a positive way. Now I use that same sort of self-control to think before I say something. It's frustrating to some people around me, I often miss jokes. But by thinking about it, I get in less arguments. A friend of mine once said “you can get away with saying anything you want if you say it in a respectful way.” So that's how I think about it.
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Naomi J

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Re: Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 03:47:42 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;110146
Every day, we use words to communicate.  Whether by writing, or speaking, we try to get our ideas across to others - to spread knowledge, to discuss issues, to ask questions.  

But often, in our quest to converse we don't pay attention to the fundamental skill of using words that fit what we're trying to convey.  We hedge, we "beat around the bush", we use terminology that sounds nice to us but means something entirely different.  And, as we're human, when this is pointed out we often take offense.

Communication is a life skill; I'd go so far as to say it qualifies as an Activity of Daily Living (ADL), although I'm sure people out there disagree with me.  In looking at it this way, one of the small things I am working on is using language that means the things I am trying to say...and trying to encourage others to do this too.

Is communication something on which you're working?  What do you to to keep it in the forefront of your mind?  If you're not working on it, is it something you feel is important?  Why or why not?

 
This post makes me feel guilty (no offence, veggie - it's a great post!) Having an autism spectrum condition, communication and language is one of my biggest challenges. Ironically, I used to teach language and linguistics, and I can tell you many, many things about language in the technical sense - grammar, phonetics, socio-linguistic theory, that sort of thing. I also write for a sort-of-living. So the language problems I have, to me, make absolutely no sense. I should not have them. Yet, I do. Sometimes someone will say a sentence to me - either verbally or in writing - and it makes absolutely no sense. I understand all the words, but not the meaning. Sometimes it's because I'm missing shared social assumptions and codes. Sometimes it's because I can't make links back to earlier things that were said. Sometimes it's for no reason I can work out at all.

And this is paralleled in my attempts to communicate with others. I spend much of my life frustrated that I can't say what I mean. Yes, words mean things - but most people aren't aware of just how much communication is not about words, but about the pragmatics, the unspoken sense, behind the words. And the more precise I ask people to be with their language, the more that seems to confuse them. And the more precise I am with language, the less I seem to be understood.

So I really don't know what my baby steps to better communication should be. I know I need to take them. But I really need to tailor them to myself and my 'difficulties', rather than wishing I was someone else, I guess. One of my biggest problems is standing up for myself and saying, clearly and without hedging, "I need this from you" - I always start feeling ashamed of myself and back down. I have a university situation at the moment where I need to talk to my thesis supervisors about alternatives to giving a presentation next year, but on the occasions I've tried, they've replied with "But your presentation last year was good! You'll be fine!" and I back down. So I might need to start with baby steps towards communicating my needs. But I'm not sure how else to improve my communication. I have tried... :(

Note: After writing this, I almost didn't post it, because I hate talking about this stuff. Then I realised it would be a baby step towards better communication. So I'm posting! :P
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veggiewolf

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Re: Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 10:54:42 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;110146
...

Is communication something on which you're working?  What do you to to keep it in the forefront of your mind?  If you're not working on it, is it something you feel is important?  Why or why not?

 
In light of recent events, I thought it might be nice to resurrect this thread (with something to say, Shad, don't worry!)

I continue to work on my communication skills (as you can see on my blog posts - /shameless plug), but it isn't always easy.  I'm also trying to apologize and correct myself when I make mistakes.

Anyone else have thoughts?  Want to share what you do/plan to do?
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Rayne

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Re: Baby Steps and Communication (a words mean things! post)
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 12:21:18 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;133732
In light of recent events, I thought it might be nice to resurrect this thread (with something to say, Shad, don't worry!)

I continue to work on my communication skills (as you can see on my blog posts - /shameless plug), but it isn't always easy.  I'm also trying to apologize and correct myself when I make mistakes.

Anyone else have thoughts?  Want to share what you do/plan to do?

 
I seem to have missed the "recent events", but I do agree that effective communication is paramount.

I try to err on the side of caution at first, although sometimes that comes across as slightly cold or formal to some. It gives me a chance to asses the dynamics of those I interact with and simply listen.
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