Cell Phone Conversation:
Jim: “Hi Kim, It’s Jim.”
Jim: “Kim, It’s Jim. I can hear you. Can you hear me?”
Kim: “Hello, is anybody there?”
Jim, frustrated: “Arrrrh!!!”
Jim hangs up and dials again.
Jim, in a frustrated tone: “Kim, it’s Jim. Can you hear me?”
Kim, feeling hurt by Jim’s angry tone: “Yeah, I can hear you. Can you hear me?”
Jim: “Hello, Kim, can you hear me?”
No audible reply even though Kim says: “Yes, I can hear you.”
Jim, really frustrated and angry at this point: “Just forget it!”
Jim hangs up. Kim feels hurt, judged, rejected and not heard. Kim is now mad at Jim thinking he is mad at her.
NOW. Stay with me and make this leap: Communication in general is like your cell phone. You are not really angry with the person. You are upset with the barrier to communication. The person believes you are mad at them, so they get mad at you. Then you are both off and running, mad at each other and escalating. That is the sad story of communication.
The good news is that if you can work through and get past the communication barrier and the personal issues that come up as a result, you are a GREAT COMMUNICATOR. It requires patience, balance, and dedication to the process.
So, next time you are in a conflict, try to remember: It’s the cell phone!