Ugh! They Drive Me Nuts!

bang head here

Today, I heard the well-worn, my coworkers-drive-me-nuts complaint yet one more time from a seminar participant. And, as always, my first thought before I responded was, “I wonder what aspect of your communication is driving them nuts?” 

I wasn’t being heartless. It’s just that everyone is being driven nuts by the manner which someone else communicates, and many times it is our own clueless communication habits that are behind the “crazy-maker’s” behavior.

For example, take the “My-husband-wife-boss-kids-or-coworker-won’t-talk-to-me” complaint…

People shut down or shut us out for a number of good reasons. Here are the most common ones:

  1. We talk too much
  2. We pound them with questions
  3. We don’t give them enough space or time to think
  4. They are introverts and we are extroverts
  5. We are nagging them
  6. We have ceased to delight in them and they can tell
  7. We are insincere or they think we are
  8. They think we don’t listen so it is a waste of their breath to talk to us
  9. They have lost hope that anything will ever change with our behaviors
  10. They don’t know how to tell us without starting a fight or hurting our feelings
  11. They need alone time
  12. We make them feel crazy or suicidal
  13. We have hurt or offended them

While, all along, we thought we were just doing the right thing, you know, trying to entertain them, show interest in them, or get them to interact with us! How dare they!

Much of this communication dysfunction comes from believing and expecting that everyone should communicate just the way we do. Based on the number of times I have wanted to kill someone for what they said or didn’t say, I imagine that  ignorance of these differences in communication preferences is probably responsible for the majority of homicides in this country (not to mention addictions, breakups, and breakdowns!)

More about fixing it, one communication screw-up at a time, tomorrow…

(FYI, my daily Two-Minute Tune-Ups have been 130 words or less for five years. I have worked very hard to keep them short for readers who “don’t like to read.” This one is longer for two reasons: 1) The subject matter required more words 2) So does Google.)

2 thoughts on “Ugh! They Drive Me Nuts!

  1. Hi PAM…Thank you for another excellent and insightful blog, and for the thoughtful explanation as to why it was “longer” than normal. Personally, I like the extra clarification and elaboration! Well done.

    • Thanks Bernie! Maybe I should have listened to people earlier and written them longer. It was very difficult to limit myself to 130 words. Just let me know if I get tedious or too wordy!

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