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Chapter 5. Common Communication Problems > Communication Can Be Complex - Pg. 36

Common Communication Problems Word Famous Notorious Cheap Thrifty Home Denotation Well-known Well-known Inexpensive Inexpensive Residence Connotation Celebrated Disreputable Tight-fisted Frugal Warmth, welcome 36 Communication Can Be Complex Fellas, imagine that a woman asks you if she looks fat. The correct response to this question is a confident, emphatic "Of course not!" (Then quickly leave the room.) Wrong answers include these: A. B. C. D. E. I wouldn't call you fat, but I wouldn't use the word thin either. Compared to what? A little extra weight looks good on you. I've seen fatter. I didn't hear you, I was thinking about your insurance policy. Many people believe that you're born knowing how to communicate well. It's not a skill you have to learn, some argue. Of course, these same people think that models don't have to work to stay thin and that Santa is busy making toys all year. It's true that speaking itself isn't hard, but you've learned in the opening chapters of this book that communication is not exactly the same as speaking. Training and practice can make an enormous difference in our ability to make our meaning understood and our ability to understand what others are saying. Communication is also influenced by what we subconsciously choose to perceive. In many cases, we assume that other people feel the same way that we do. As you've probably discovered (the hard way), this is not always the case. We also tend to tune out messages that are unpleasant, threatening, or disturbing. Instead, we absorb messages that reinforce our sense of well-being or that tell us what we want to hear. Take the "Are You a Responsible Communicator?" test to see how sensitive a communicator you are. Are You a Responsible Communicator? Put a check next to each answer that you think is true. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . It is important to treat others as unique individuals. It's a good idea to avoid thinking of peo- ple as typical or stereotypes. You shouldn't attempt to convince peo- ple that you're right unless you are well informed on the subject. You don't reject what other people say out of hand. It's wrong to use information about your- self to manipulate others. It's important to accepting responsibility for the words that pass through your lips.