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Chapter 25. Getting Less Difficult—The W... > What's Their Problem? - Pg. 266

Getting Less Difficult--The Words, Ma'am, Just the Words 266 Lack of Listening/Understanding One of the primary reasons people talk to others is a desire or need to be understood and to feel accepted. We all want to feel listened to. We prefer that people agree with us, but our primary desire is to be understood. When two people talk and one perceives that the other is not making an effort to understand, frus- tration and anger often result. The person feeling misunderstood is likely to escalate his or her efforts, increasing the intensity of the discussion. This kind of conversation can be a relationship killer. So one thing you need to do to become less difficult is start listening and demonstrating your understanding of another person. "Less-than" Communication We know that any language or action that somehow demeans or suggests one person is "less than" another person tends to trigger an emotional reaction. Many of the specific characteristics of confrontational language relate to this idea of comparing someone to someone else or putting someone down. What's interesting is that we needn't be outright abusive to set somebody off. Our language contains hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways to suggest to someone they are unworthy, less than, or insignificant. It's pretty obvious that saying "You're a pea-brained idiot whose arms drag on the ground" is meant to be demeaning or insulting. What most people don't realize is that everyday language used by all of us can convey that message in subtle ways. Employee's Handbook