Thursday, March 6, 2008
So much a bout a conversation can be destroyed by differences in how we expect people to communicate. I have this friend that I get along extremely well with, but we are still getting to know each other. The other day we had our first really extended conversation and I realized afterwards that I must have done nearly 80% of the talking. As I considered why, it occurred to me that almost every thing he had said to me was a question. It made me start to think and I believe that perhaps the way he is used to getting to know someone is by asking each other questions- which would make sense. Except that I am used to the less direct approach which is a sort of system of turn-taking-self-disclosure. As one person tells about themselves, the other, in response, tells about their related experiences. I don’t think that either method is necessarily superior. They are both different and effective when both parties are using the same one, but in this case it probably appeared as if I was only interested in hearing the sound of my own voice. He continued to ask me questions- more than likely expecting me to ask him questions back- but instead I kept answering them expecting him to respond with his own opinion on the question. This hasn’t resulted in any kind of fight or anything like that(at least not yet) but it does make me wonder if I just sounded like I was dominating the conversation because I didn’t care to hear his thoughts. It’s crazy to think that even such a small conflict in conversational styles as that can cause a communicational problem.