Monday, January 28, 2008

A small problem

I have this problem that whenever I am telling a story or explaining something I want everyone to know exactly what I mean. To a large degree, I think this is because I tend view everything that happens through the scope of what it feels like. The English language is not the most accommodating to explain less-than-concrete things, so I find it takes a great deal more words for me to tell a story than it does for a lot of other people. The problem here is that most people don’t feel it necessary to know every miniscule detail of the situation before they can catch the weight of what it meant to me. Very small pieces of background information, to me, are necessary particulars which set the stage for my frame of mind at the time of the actual occurrence I am explaining. However, the majority of people in the world see this as an unnecessary information overload. For this reason, it seems that by trying to communicate perfectly I over-communicate and cause people to feel talked down to by re-explaining things five different ways. Over time, I have become conscious of this problem and now make great efforts to correct it. Whenever I write a story or a letter I now find myself in this endless mind-battle trying to decide which elements are needed to get my thoughts across and which are useful only to me. It is an exhausting struggle, but the truth is it is equally as exhausting when I do write or say anything in the all-elements-included sort of way I feel so drawn to. In that light, it is to my own benefit as well for me to learn how to abbreviate, but it is a difficult process when I genuinely feel that every word is important. It’s a funny thing to think about because by attempting to achieve perfect communication I often cause miscommunication. I am trying to say “this is exactly what happened” but am being perceived as saying “you’re too thick to understand this unless I’m extremely clear and specific” or “I am incapable of brevity”.
...This is only one of many reminders to me that flawless communication is impossible.

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