The single Biggest problem in communication

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

– George Bernard Shaw

Although I am a huge fan of communication and I would probably answer with communication as one of the single most important factor on earth, I am often amazed at the various dimensions it takes. Sometimes visual, sometimes with words, sometimes even with gestures and to top that sometimes through your eyes. I wonder how adept a person has to be to understand all those signals of communication without fail and try to deliver the exact same thing the other person expects from you.

I agree, it sounds specious, it sounds unreasonable and it does sound borderline stupid as well! But think about this – all the fights we have had, all the anger we have harbored against people, all the jealousy and the feelings of hurt – of all of them, how many of them have been because of communication. And how many of them have been because of the thought that the counterpart is going to understand what you do without needing to explain. Sometimes we also define that by saying how connected we are to the other person. Most times it does happen to be the case, most times we assume that the other person is going to understand and most times they do as well. But there are times where they don’t or we don’t and thus comes a fight. I have been trying to identify and see if there is a solution for the same, to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

Some people say over communication is the best way to handle a situation like this – This way it removes us off the culpability of being too assuming in communication. I somehow feel strongly inclined to side by over communication instead of no communication at all. The risks of no communication can extend from misunderstanding to harboring hatred while it could have all been saved with the help of a simple phone call or a text message. Or sometimes even with a gesture of appreciation.

I do agree that none of this is easy and it is very natural for us to take things for granted. Maybe it is very difficult to wield in that sensibility and trying to be there for the other person. But maybe it is just what we feel about it. Sometimes things are a lot simpler and a lot easier than they seem to be. Like Shaw says, sometimes the problem can just be assuming that the conversation has already taken place without even talking about it!


How to tell someone they are wrong without hurting them? 

How to apologize? 

Let others be right most of the time! 


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