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November 28, 2010

Contradictory messages in communication – Part - III

This is the continuation of an earlier blog about contradictory messages. Contradictory messaging is one topic that interests me a lot. The topic is like a sleigh of the hand of the expert magician. The message says something and the understanding is something else. Savior the following

One professor wanted to show his students the ill effects of consuming alcohol. He brought some alcohol in a jar to the class and put it on the table. He then took some mosquitoes and some house flies and dropped them into the jar. The mosquitoes and the house flies struggled for a few seconds and died. The professor then addressed the class and said “what is that you have learned from this demonstration?” Somebody from the back tittered “If you take alcohol all the parasites and viruses in the stomach will die and our stomachs will become clean” The professor was speechless when he heard the answer.

Another professor said sarcastically pointing his pointer towards a student “at the end of the stick there is a fool’. The student said “which end sir?” Groucho Marx the famous critic once famously said “I don’t want to join any prestigious club that will accept me as a member”. Very succinctly said; the attraction of the club is only when it does not accept anyone as a member. Once a membership is granted the allure of being part of an elusive group is lost.

An actresses said “It is painful to be recognized. It is irritating to be mobbed and being the centre of attraction. People gape, made snide comments and pinch you”. But she quickly added that being recognized and facing all that irritants is much better than being ignored completely . The actors who walked into the sunset find it very difficult to face the reality where they are no longer the centre of attraction.

A mother was comparing notes with her friend “I have sent my son to the boarding school. He wrote a long letter saying how much he missed me. He was home sick and feeling so depressed that he is not able to eat. I feel very bad and upset. But I would feel very very sick and extremely upset if he was not feeling home sick”

The rule of the game is to understand the real message of what anyone says. One should be adept at reading between the lines. What is said is not as dangerous as what is not said. My boss once said to us in a meeting “If you don’t understand my silence you will never be able to understand my anger”

1 comment:

  1. It is the meaning behind the words that matters and not the words. The message behind it to understand what and when something is required and then act, otherwise be silent. But this doesn't mean to be silent forever as in Shakespeare's words 'The people who don't speak and think themselves or pretend to be intellectuals are actually the Fools'.