Why I believe in English-language sentences
February 21, 2011 2 Comments
One of the things I told Missy when we were dating was that I believe in English language sentences as a primary means of communication. There is a place for subtleties of body language and tone and listening for what people mean over against what they said. But, generally speaking I prefer English language, straight forward sentences as the primary means of communication. Here is a great example of why:
ALEX: (really wanting to go bowling, but thinking that Helen was not interested in going out and doing anything fun together) We have some free time tonight. I wonder if we should try to do something.
HELEN: (thinking that she would like to get out but hearing the tentativeness in his voice and thinking he really doesn’t want to go out) Oh, I don’t know. What do you think?
ALEX: Well, we could go bowling, but it could be league night, and we might not get in anyway. Maybe we should just stay in and watch TV.
HELEN: (thinking, “Aha, that’s what he really wants to do.”) That sounds good to me. Why don’t we see what’s on cable tonight? Maybe there will be something good.
ALEX: (He’s disappointed, thinking, “I knew it. She really doesn’t want to make the effort to get out and do something fun.”) Yeah, OK.
In this conversation, there was no escalation, invalidation, or withdrawal. Nevertheless, the couple did not communicate well due to the filters involved