Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Misunderstandings



Have you ever felt that no matter what you say you will be wrong footed? That you have started out with the best of intentions and then something has happened that you don't understand and the communication has gone pear shaped? I think that's when the two parties are in different states. It happened to me quite recently. I was viewing something in an observational state and the other person was responding in a fundamentalist state. I was wanting to explore in an intellectual sense and the other person was responding in an emotional sense.

I sometimes experience difficulty in dealing with those situations in print. This may seem strange I am after all quite literate. I have a good vocabulary and good communication skills. As a therapist I have been trained to look at the dynamic of what's happening in the room. What is the client's pattern. How may that affect the work we do together. To look at my own responses and at the transferences that can occur. Above all I am present in the room. I can see the impact of what is being said. If I am interacting on line or by text or email then I am unable to see the other person. Also in these situations I am not the therapist. I see the interaction on my blog or on my Facebook page as very different from my work. We are in my opinion friends or adults together. I am not there to protect or nurture you, that is with due respect your job. I take it that those interacting with me know that my motives are altruistic. That I have no axe to grind beyond this is what I think and I genuinely want to know what you think. I try to be constrained in my responses because I don't want to bully, I want to explore. I also don't wish to be pilloried or abused because my thoughts don't concur with someone else's.

It has been suggested to me from time to time that with all my worldliness I am in fact naive, and perhaps that is the case. Perhaps I forget that we don't all want the freedom of debate. That we don't all find it exciting because we aren't able to. That perhaps unresolved issues get in the way and we aren't free to access that part of us. At the moment I am feeling bruised and anxious. It seems that the world of debate, which I value is on the retreat and left instead is concrete thinking and certainty which to me is the most fearful place of all? 

4 comments:

  1. Don't be put off from debate. We're all different and a simple sentence can have different meanings for different people. I know this all too well because most of my colleagues are in different countries and English is not their first language!  Stay open minded, we value the freedom of debate. It is a luxury not all countries enjoy.

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  2. Thank you Gail for your response I found it very heartening and it landed in my inbox at a crucial moment :)

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  3. I find this difference between *face to face* discussion and online *debates* totally fascinating.  As you say it can be very different when one no longer can use body language, intonation etc as part of the equation.  People also act far more extremely on line, imo...  In some ways the stark honesty, brutality even, of the Internet can be refreshing...and a chance to explore one's own reactions.  But yes, for sure, it can also be disconcerting...and many people find it very uncomfortable.  Like everything, there's good and bad.  At least with the web, one can just switch off or ignore if it all gets too much. :)  xxxx

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  4. Perhaps I'm too philosophical but I don't see truth as universal. There are as they say many truths. I guess what bothers me is that I've been perceived as attacking when that is far fom my intention. I agree that the off button is an advantage but I prefer collaboration and ending a debate where everyone comes out of it intact? I guess it's not an ideal world? Thanks for your contribution Jane it means a lot :)

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