“I want this world to be free from mis-communications and misunderstandings. It is so much of wastage of time and energy to clear these. Why can’t people just understand. I don’t misunderstand anybody because I think both the sides of the story when I hear something that is not clear.”, Rakesh was blabbering as usual in the tea shop. He is known for his never ending talks. There are sometimes some meaningful talks but most of the time they are meaningless considering the situation and people around. He loves talking to people and his friends know that so they just tolerate him.
But today Sandip could not keep quiet. He somehow felt as if his recent incidences of misunderstanding was the topic what Rakesh was bringing up. He protested, “You can’t claim to have never misunderstood anybody. Every thought comes to your mind is your version of the story based on what you see, hear, your existing impression about the people involved and your current state of mind. If anything goes wrong then a completely different story than the original will be painted in your mind. You may be lucky to get everything right every time but that’s next to impossible. In a world where you have to act and react quickly you can’t keep on validating every stuff before building any impression. You have to move fast with whatever impression you got and if later it proves to be wrong then just apologize and move forward.”
“I agree with you more than ever on this topic Sandip but I would like to add one more point of precaution to avoid this. Just keep counterview to every view. Unless your are sure just ensure you build two stories in your mind. One is for and another one is against. Then you take a middle ground while communicating and don’t hurt people if your have misunderstood them or don’t ignore the problem if the problem is real. I will give an example. Recently I had one doubt regarding one of my colleague’s attitude towards me. He was ignoring me for a while. The first thought that came to my mind was he was feeling jealous about my recent promotion as he was a strong contender for the same. So naturally a story got cooked up in my mind where I started evaluating his negative points and was trying to justify why he was not selected in place of me although I am nobody to evaluate that. This story kept growing in my mind for almost 3 days. I was gradually started hating him for being jealous. The hatred came to such an extent that I started indirectly hurting him by words in some situations. Then one afternoon while coming from 4:00 PM Tea ritual I saw him in the parking lot talking intensely to somebody and if my eyes were to be trusted I could spot some drops of tears on his cheeks. This completely created a new story in my mind where I considered as a personal problem which is keeping him disturbed. I observed him for some more days and I found that he was ignoring most people except a few. Then I thought of directly asking him about it taking a middle ground. After few denials he explained his family situation was not good due to some property dispute at home and he was expecting a promotion this time as well. But as the promotion didn’t happen this frustration aggravated. Although he was little unhappy with me as I got the promotion but he also agreed that he knew that I was more deserving. Then I could help him by listening to is personal problems which helped him feel better. If I would have taken my first story further then I would have hurt him more in a situation where he was already broken. This time I saw him upset over phone and tat helped me but if that would not have happened I would have tried to think other aspects to his behavior change and cooked up some other better story to counter the negative story. I have practiced this in several occasions and it has helped me to great extent. Although I would agree with you that it is not completely true that I never misunderstood anybody. I was just boasting myself but you caught me at the right time.”. We both laughed.
We realized that it is 15 minutes and time to get back to work so we came back to office.
– Stray Dog