Monday, October 16, 2006

Discussion Dynamics

One thing that annoys the heck out of some people, but which I and others have frequently found necessary, is discussing the discussion. That would be putting the main topic on-hold so that you can talk about what someone said or how they said it.

Maybe you were talking about politics and, at some point, you said something that YOU meant one way, but that someone else interpreted ANOTHER way. Suddenly, you find yourself talking about who said what and what it meant, when really, you'd rather be talking about politics.

If you're like a lot of people, this annoys you because you feel like it's a waste of time - maybe even an attempting, by the other person, to distract you from their losing argument. The other person may see it quite differently, maybe thinking that there's something about your phrasing that is indicative of habitually poor reasoning, discussion, or debating... and they feel that it's worth investing some time to resolve this recurring issue.

I often find myself in the second category, seeing these discussion trends that make communication so difficult when, in my opinion, it needn't be. One of the problems with discussing the discussion is that, there's no commonly-used terminology (that I'm aware of) to which we can refer. So, we're left stumbling and bumbling our way through things, spending far more time explaining what we mean than resolving the issue, itself.

Hell, even that explanation may have been confusing, so I'll just do what I came here to do - dive right in with an example of something that frequently happens in discussions I've witnessed or experienced and attempt to give it a name. Maybe, at some point in the future, this will come in handy.

If not, at least I'll be able to give people a peek into my world. Either you'll understand where I'm coming from, more, and we'll get along better OR you'll think I'm even crazier than you already suspected.

Whatever the case, I consider this to be tangential, at least, to the title (and theme?) of this blog, so I'll be posting the first installment in a few minutes.

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