Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sir? Ma'am? He? She? It?

Sometimes, miscommunication can cause the biggest misunderstandings. But with so many people to talk to, how do you know you're not saying the wrong thing? #6, for the record.

For some context, if you don't really know the characters of Peanuts (and shame if you don't), The brown-haired girl is Peppermint Patty, who has an unrequited crush on Charlie Brown. Here we can see that she is hesitant to ask him to the school dance, and does not even bother to tell his sister, only asking her to say she was thinking of him. However, Sally tells him "You almost went to a school dance." This, of course, is not the message Patty asked her to relay, leaving Charlie Brown confused.
This does not have much real bearing on the comic at large, but it is an ongoing theme that some characters cannot speak to others about how they feel.
This is not really an example of misconstrued messages, but it is miscommunication all the same. Sally is known for her twisting of others' words, not in malice, but because she does not know better. It's something that is sometimes expected of children, but what about with adults? Sometimes it's good to slow down and think about what you're saying ahead of time. It seems like everyone is an offender of "Speak before you think", something that can turn out to do more harm than good. As humans, we are all quick to judge, and when someone else has an idea or something to say, they can be interrupted quickly. These days, everyone has things to talk about, especially with the advent of electronic communication. While this can help you slow down and consider what you're saying, with so many others to talk to the rush to get things over and said with can be a little overwhelming. 
As a recent example on Facebook, my friends and I are currently using one of our friends' profile pictures as our own to show how we appreciate him. Of course, he's that one friend who likes to take everything seriously and sometimes gets annoyed with the little things. We didn't really tell him about what we were doing, so once he had gotten online, he saw. It wasn't until we cleared it up that he joined in on the fun too.
Sometimes we can't always say what we need to or what we want to in the kairotic moment, but it's still important to understand and take in others' messages the way they want you to interpret them. The next time you might get asked to a dance, make sure you've got the right message, and not one you'll regret asking about later on.


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