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What is effective communication?

User Thread
 32yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What is effective communication?
From witnessing certain topics being handled and discussed on the forum, and of course through my own experiences with trying to discuss topics with certain people on CC and in my own life, it is interesting to me to understand what people percieve as effective and ineffective communication. I am starting this thread in the interest of highlighting the importance of how much thought we put behind our communications when trying to express our thoughts and feelings to other people.

For now, I am wanting to define effective and ineffective communications. Once an acceptable consensus has been made on the definition of these things, it will then be a matter of discussing what specific behaviours aid or inhibit effective communications.

If no one chooses to input initially, I'm just going to go on with this using my own understanding and observations to try and pinpoint those specific behaviours that I think aid or inhibit communication.



To me, effective communication would result in both parties being able to resolve a disagreement or discuss a topic in progressive manner, coming to a conclusion in the fastest way possible.

Ineffective communication results in an unnecessary and prolonged discourse, which is frustrating for all parties involved. This is because one of the parties, or both, are communicating in a manner that avoids or distracts from the topic being discussed.

Effective communication is more likely to happen when:

*All parties are able to effectively express their true thoughts and feelings without disrespecting one another.

*It is in the interest of all parties to learn and truly understand any percieved disagreements or perceptions.

This would assume that all parties are in search of true knowledge and understanding, and not out to protect their ego over the pursuit of truth and understanding.

Ineffective communication is more likely to happen when:

* Any or all parties express their true feelings and thoughts by demeaning anothers' expressions and by being unnecessarily antagonistic. This usually results in any or all parties disengaging from the topic at a logical level. This usually sets them on the track to reacting to any logical and valid reasonings at an emotional and increasingly thoughtless manner.

* Any or all parties have a subconscious or conscious desire to protect their ego, usually resulting in them being unable to percieve a logical and valid reasoning from other parties involved.

Anyone agree/disagree, or have anything to add at this point?

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 32yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
What do you do when someone is unwilling to think and see logically despite different attempts, and uses every deceitful method possible to convince you that the delusion in their mind is true, including going on the offensive in trying to demean and weaken your own self-esteem?

This pattern occurs everywhere. Parents, friends, colleagues, workmates, neighbors, siblings... everywhere you will ever go, people use dishonesty to defend themselves in the light of criticism or disagreement.

So, I will put forward my current solution: Despite its seemingly negative approach, showing the person no quarter when all diplomatic attempts have been made appears to put a person in an emotional upheaval. This appears to be slightly more effective than just walking away as it prevents the other person from just ignoring their fictional statements, and forces them to be ashamed of them.



Negative or necessary? I don't see this approach as negative and if you are indeed, looking to "trigger more inner monologue" within a person, and highlight the underlying negativity and manipulations in their communications with you (& especially if they have a history of doing this in other discussions on the forum), I think being relentlessly blunt and honest certainly seems to be one of the more effective ways to go about doing this, when you are, as you say "trying to communicate to someone who doesn't want to hear it, and doesn't want you to believe it."



So although I am not at all disagreeing with the method you choose to tackle these issues with, because I do agree with your post, I still feel like I picked up on an area of your initial response that I felt could have been more effective. It being this -

When you first perceive that someone is trying to, whether they know it or not, manipulate you negatively through their own communications towards you, is it better to pinpoint this one single aspect, rather than put effort into also having other (smaller, now less important) arguments on the side? Lesser arguments that they can then use as a shield to deflect and criticise you with, detracting from the most important point of what you are trying to communicate?

For example, with your intitial response to awakend, you started off by asking all of these (seemingly rehtorical) questions about the effect of poor parenting and the death penalty. Only in the second half of this post does it really seem to me, like you are tackling the core question and issue.

I guess the phrase "pick your battles", seems to have some merit here, in my opinion. What I mean by this is that perhaps it is more effective to disregard any topics that he may have brought up along with his core criticism of you (again, distracting topics = what bad parenting is and what merits the death penalty).

If you had narrowed your response to the last half of your post, starting from

quote:
I was pointing out that this guy wasn't an absolute good guy.


Perhaps he then, would have had less to respond to and less ammo with which to deflect the attention from himself and his own failings in his communications.

Of course, in your subsequent responses to him, you do ignore the other arguments and choose instead, to hone in on the core issue, which I think was much more effective.

So I'm just putting over my opinion that your initial communication could possibly have been more effective, had you refused to discuss anything other than the core issue.

I don't know what that would have done for his responses exactly, but I think he would have had less to criticise you with, and also perhaps he would have spent less time thinking about responses to your initial questions rather than thinking more so about the (in my opinion) more real and important issues you brought up later on.

What do you think?

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[  Edited by vigil at   ]
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I feel like there is a general consensus that i did something wrong, but I have no idea what that is. And instead of ignoring it, I'll accept the now probable conclusion that I wasn't doing my job.

I was just trying to ask a question. In what ways of my asking that question did I make the wrong decision?

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"I was pointing out that this guy wasn't an absolute good guy. "

My exact conclusion. I was just telling you about the initial doubt that I had.

I feel like so many of my good points are being ignored. Why doesn't this matter?

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I am not being lazy. I am trying to see where I went wrong, so it doesnt happen in the future. I have tried on my own, and cant see it. If other people can see, I have no other choice than to ask them.

Clearly it is not your job. You don't have to respond to me.

I don't care about Akmail, and never have. No I have not researched him. I have read some of my old posts where I was very aggressive and brash and did not care to find the turth. I tried to corolate them to the last thread and cant.

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Akmail has nothing to do with the miscommunication though.

"You're asking me how you could have tried to harm me without harming me."

By asking you that question, I was just seeing if there was a slim chance I was right. Was it the public nature of it that seems harmful? Why ask a question like that unless I was trying to publicly base you out? Unless I was trying to show you that I have found a flaw in your character? These were not my intentions, though before posting my response I did say to myself, I hope he doesn't feel this way. Instead of telling you that I simply asked you to not get upset, which I thought covered that bases, I guess it didn't.

Does that make more sense? I was not trying to do those things, but, as I have already admmited was my mistake, I WAS being lazy in not clarifying myself, which is aggressive becuase it leaves you with all the responsibility, and leaves room for harsh feelings. Knowing that it leaves room for harsh feelings and doing nothing to stop it is agrressive. That is why I asked you not to get upset. Obviously I was misunderstood in that sense, because of my own lack of communication.

All these things in mind, it still does not mean that I was trying to hurt you, only that I could have tried harder to make sure you understood that.

Honestly, I don't feel it nececary with most people. But, as I said in my response to you before, if my lazyness causes friction, I will not be that way in the future.

Tell me where I am wrong in what I am saying right now.

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Perhaps on some subconscious level that was my intention. Really, I do not know.

I know that I have felt that way in the past, as you have stated, but I really feel like it is not the case this time.

In the future, I will openly question myself in thsi regard, because if there is even a chance that it is true, then I am not satisfied with myself.

I see your logic now and see how it makes sense, but I can not openly agree with it, because I do not know if it is true or not.

I think, at first I felt that way, when I first read your post, but decided that I did not want to... attack you for no reason. I still feel that my decision to ask the question was made on the premise of curiosity. But I can now see how you would see it as an attack.

What you are saying is I am using my curiosity and laziness as a defense, to attack you without attacking you. I disagree. I do feel that I was asking an innocent question. If you refuse to give me the benefit of the doubt, as I have given you, which is how I came to this conclusion, then there is no way you and I can get along.

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
AW, for what its worth, I believe you when you say you weren't trying to put Decius down on purpose. Maybe its like he said, you subconsciously wanted to do this. And if you accept that, then that is a good thing. I guess its your manner and the way you do things but sometimes you do come across as aggressive. If you can see this and try to fix it then you will have improved as a person.

Decius, we have talked about the topic of how best to communicate with others and came to the conclusion each individual needs to find the best method that works for them. Since that conversation I've thought about it allot and kept it in mind when I talk to others on forums and when I watch others communicate with one another.

While I still think there needs to be both tactful and aggressive communication, I can see what youre saying about being aggressive sometimes working where being benign would not. I guess its about shock value. If you tell someone something nicely and don't make them confront it they have a tendency to brush it off. This is a situation AW cannot just ignore. So yes, your methods are effective in this case.

But at the same time, how many people would have accepted what you told them and still continued to converse? Or accepted your criticism of them? I think that allot of the people on CC are unique in this manner, and it sometimes can confuse the issue. As I've mentioned before, when you attack a person they immediately put their defenses up and stop listening to you.

So there are times when you need to know the persons threshold for being attacked and their ability to take things you say on board. Once again, I guess its a matter of knowing the best tactic to use when communicating effectively to someone.

You also need to realise that not everyone thinks on your level. You have a remarkably complex mind and sometimes you might think others are thinking the way you think and therefore act accordingly to that conclusion. This is also something that needs to be taken into consideration.

I know AW didn't get what you were asking when you asked how you could better have gone about saying what you had to say, but I hope some of the above is more in line with what you were asking.

AW is a tough guy and I think he will take what has been said and what has happened and grow from it.

As for this post, I did allot of second guessing before I wrote it. As in, what is my motivation for posting this? Am I trying to put others down to make myself feel better? Do I have some kind of ulterior motive? That sort of thing. But I think the reason Im posting is because I want to help others learn and grow and I like the ppl involved in this situation and would like them to get along. Id also hate for AW to leave the site.

And I also think that by writing this out it makes the things Ive been thinking and trying to work out about forum behavior and peoples subconscious and how to communicate etc more crystalline in my mind.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What makes you think I would leave this site?

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Human nature. People tend to leave forums when they have major disagreements like this one. And this being such a small community I imagine it magnifies them.

But the last two paragraphs of what I wrote wasn't about you personally. It could have been anyone in that situation. I just felt the need to put my motivations, i.e. the things that were going through my head at the time that made me feel the need to post up front, because there has been allot of stuff about motivation, bias, subconscious desires etc. And I wanted it clear that I had thought about why I was going to post and felt that it was benign and not trying to pour more fuel on the fire.

But like I said, you're quite tough, so chances are you'll grow from what has happened and not spit the dummy and leave.


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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius, I'm not saying your way of dealing with this is wrong. As I said, I agree that if you are nice it may very well be he will blow it off.

I was giving you some ideas on how to look at the situation that may be a little different to how you may look at it now. But I think it really depends with each individual person and situation.

If AW had of said what he did in that initial post to me I wouldn't have felt attacked or demeaned at all. But then that's just me and the way I see the world.

I know that you and he have had a bumpy history, so I can see where you may feel attacked by what he has to say where I don't, and when you do deal with him you have that inside you ready to come out. Which it did. This isn't to say it is unjustified, just that you need to be aware that just as his feelings may have subconsciously played a role in what he said to you, yours also may have subconsciously played a role in what you said to him.

And I can also see where you asked AW for a way to come across better with your words and he didn't really hear what you were saying and maybe saw it as capitulation by giving him ground.

I'm sure at that point you felt as if you weren't being heard. So you may be able to imagine how AW felt when he tried to tell you he wasn't out to hurt you consciously and that he accepts that maybe you were right in that he did it subconsciously and he was sorry- yet to him, you wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt.

I could go through all the things said by everyone in the last few days and see where they are coming from and maybe show, that to a third person looking in, that your own point of view which seems so correct- may seem totally wrong to the person you're trying to get it across to. And therefore the break down in communication begins, which leads to all of the people involved feeling very negative all round. And STILL not feeling the other party heard what they were trying to get across.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that often feelings get in the way of our seeing things clearly, and if we write things to another with those feelings in our heart we need to be aware that we are compromised to a degree and may not be hearing the other person as they'd like.

Also, if we want to be heard we need to make sure that we are talking the other persons language. Being "lazy" in communication when you want another to hear you will only mean you are not heard. Likewise, expecting the other to automatically be on your level of thought and know exactly what you mean will also mean you may not be heard.

One thing I would suggest for all members when they engage in forum debating is that no matter how heated it gets, try not be so personal or insulting. I think its possible to get a point across without doing that. And as has been witnessed in the last 48 hours, when it does get personal and insults are thrown around, no one is actually listening anymore as their feelings are doing all the talking AND all the listening.

Of course all this is easier said than done. I'm not perfect and I see myself in all of the people who have posted what they have posted. And I'm a little worried that maybe I'm coming across as thinking I have all the answers, which I don't. I'm just trying to throw some ideas and a different perspective out there in the hope it will help.

Its probably not what you were looking for Decius, but its a really difficult topic. Maybe it doesn't have an answer, because you are not someone who has any problem talking to others and are very good at getting your point across. There is something in the very design of our minds which makes the words lose their translation along the way when there are two differing points of view. And its extremely hard to make another see it your way at times.

Being aggressive is the answer sometimes, and sometimes it only makes things worse. In the case of you and AW I think maybe your correct to be as hard as you have. But at the same time you say you don't feel comfortable with it and Im sure you don't have anything other than negative feelings over the whole situation.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius, when I have said what I have said, it has been focused on effective communication overall. Ideas on what to keep in mind when you're trying to get your point across and are worried that it is not getting through. It goes for all of us, not you in particular.

I guess I used the thread in question as an example because this is what people are using and what has started allot of the conversation about how best to communicate and what to avoid.

Perhaps Ive been in error when reading the thread in question and believing AW wasn't consciously trying to demean you because im the sort of person who is very honest and tries to look deep inside themselves when they say things, and often I assume that others do to. Awakened has often said that honesty is something very important to him so I naturally take his word that he's being honest in all this.

Maybe I was wrong in that, I don't know.

And yes I agree he was being passive aggressive and biased with his comments.

But I was just trying to find some middle ground. Because this one issue, and who is right or wrong and who said what is only part of a bigger picture. And that is how best to effectively communicate. If you're unsure the best way to get your point across, and feel there may be another way, Ive given some suggestions, not just to you but to anyone who reads the thread. But I accept that these suggestions may or may not be right and you may find that the way your going about things is the best way overall.

As I have mentioned, I agree with allot of what you say and I'm sorry if you feel I was attacking your methods of communicating or it seemed i was saying that you weren't thinking properly because i thought you were being emotional.


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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
[  Edited by Chained Wings at   ]
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I mentioned I read the thread in the last post and I agreed that he was being passive aggressive and biased.

I'll go though the entire thread again tomorrow and try to address what you've brought up tonite though.


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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What you say about me wanting to see AW as innocent is because I like him. And I don't want to think badly of him. I also don't want to see ppl fight. I know I'm being naive when I say it would be good if we could all get along here but that's how I feel. Its like this is the one place I can go to get away from all the hatred and the insults and the stupidity of the rest of the internet. My home away from home. And as a few ppl have mentioned, it feels the regulars on CC are like a family. So for me, its bad when we have these times when no one can agree and ppl are at each others throats.

So maybe Im wanting to give AW the benefit of the doubt because its preferable to thinking poorly about him.

I accept life isn't like that and ppl will have arguments and disagreements and falling outs. And I accept that on this forum it isn't about popularity or ego and sometimes you need to be confrontational to get to the heart of the matter.

Reading the thread again tonite I can see that even moreso.

As for why I said what I said in my previous posts, I want to give you a run down of what I thought and my reasoning for why I didn't feel AW had lied or at least wasn't aware of it. This is all before tonite when I read the entire thing again with what you have said in mind.

What you first said to mut was totally fine and I saw no attacks or criticisms in it at all. In a way it sort of seemed odd because it was so neutral to the point of me not really knowing what your feelings on the whole akmal thing were even.

When I first read AWs original post, I didn't really get allot of it, so I didn't really pay it any attention. It was also not about akmal so I wasn't intersed. And I certainly didn't pick up on any attacks on you.

What made me feel that AW wasn't attacking you is that I recently noticed that he likes to post stuff on what ppl say, which are kind of his observations. Sometimes I don't think they are relevant and sometimes I think he touches on some good things. And I see it as his way of growing and observing the world and learning.

And in his second post he seemed happy to be conversing with you. I assumed that if his only intent was to put you down or to defend his brother he wouldn't be so optimistic that you had seen through his "facade" as you put it and had decided to challenge it. I also felt that the length of his posts displays someone who is willing to put the time in to converse with you.

To be honest, looking at what AW posted in his second post it comes across as him wanting to talk about himself and wanting you to help him work on himself. I didn't see it as someone wanting to bring you down. If anything I would fault him for taking the thread totally off rail. He even admits he's lazy and I think that joining in a conversation with no real interest in the topic itself and railroading it to be about himself or about you is not an effective way to communicate on forums.

So to me I really saw it as stuff he's done before an not something that was purely to defend his brother. And why would he feel you're having a go at his brother when you weren't attacking him in any way. At least to me you weren't.


Now in looking at it closer with all you have said in mind, my observations are:

I don't see his post so much as going against you, more as directing the conversation away from you and his brother. Or maybe in his saying you were letting your feelings about parenting get in the way he was diverting your attention.

To me, as you said, the post seemed not worth the effort to write since he said that he knew what you meant. So it wasn't relevant to bother telling you what it SOUNDED like.

Overall it was fuzzy logic an not well put together. An obsolete post in regards to the topic at hand. So realising this and wondering why bother, I can see why you picked up on what you did.

And maybe you are correct in that he was trying to hide this because he did tell you not to be offended. If he had to say that, then he knew what he was saying was offensive or at least had the potential to be viewed as offensive.

It also seems that as you press him he gives more and more ground. If I was 100 percent truthful and genuine in something and someone was calling me a lair I wouldn't keep giving ground like that.

Im curious to know though, what do you think is aws main motivation? As his brother has shown us, he's big and nasty enough (and has a big enough dick) to look after himself. So I don't see why aw needed to stick up for him. Nor do I feel that you had really said anything that would warrant him needing to come to his brothers defence.

Yes, there is probably some bias and im sure that whether conscious or not he was influenced to post what he did because of a sense of loyalty. But do you think that his "sole" reason in his first post was just to bring you down? And if so, can you explain that in terms of how the human mind works. To me I just don't see aw as thinking he has the ability to try and bring you down.

In conclusion, upon reading the thread a second time round I can see allot more clearly your line of thinking and why you have said what you have.

I can see where you want to stop bad habits and thought processes and the very type of behaviour that make us all unhappy and full of self loathing that we then try to infect others with. And I applaud that.

I can also see you're very passionate about it. You mention you're proud of being this way and I myself have had trouble with being too passionate and feel like I have been made to tone it down over the years, so I guess I can relate to that.

I think my statements of you being affected by your feelings were wrong. Not in that you don't feel passionate about the things you fight against. But in that you should not be made to feel bad for this. And I was wrong in thinking that you may have trouble seeing the bigger picture because of your feelings.

In my first read through I didn't pick up on what Aw said in his first post about you letting your feelings about parents get in the way of your post. Or later when he says that your letting your own feelings get in the way of a normal conversation. I find this as unfair and I don't think you were letting anything get in the way of a conversation. Which is why I can se why you took exception to what I said after all this when I was generalising about ppl letting their feelings get in the way of the facts.

I can see that you have been more than logical and reasonable throughout the thread. And im sorry for the words I used that made you feel that you weren't.

As for the topic of effective communication and your question about how can you go about being more effective. Like I said, I think you don't have a problem with the way you interact. So maybe its more about honing your skills?

I think that upon looking at all of this and how you were made to feel bad about your passion about something, is that text does not carry well. I often find it hard to tell what someone is really feeling without the use of body language or the inflection in their voice or even just the sense we get being in the same space as someone.

So it seems that one of the things we need to work out is a way to make it so people know where we stand. Yes you are passionate, and so are allot of us on certain topics. But to stop the situation of aw saying you're being unreasonable or too emotional- and to stop myself or anyone else form seeing it this way when he says this- I think that is what needs to be worked on. As I think that so much of the thread in question could have been simplified if there wasn't the whole "emotions getting in the way of a discussion" needing to be cleared up.

I will think on this more and if I can come up with anything to throw in I will post it.


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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
[  Edited by Chained Wings at   ]
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thank you for such an amazingly detailed and informative explanation. It really puts things in perspective and I appreciate the effort you put into this. I wish I was able to write posts like this.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
What is effective communication?
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