there is a tenet in nlp which states that the value of communication is in the response that comes back. the reason why we communicate is to be understood. we start out with good intentions, yet people take us wrong and make up thier own mind about what we mean when we say the things we do.
why does this happen?
because people aren`t able to discern the difference between what is actually said and what they think is being said. people hear the words we are using and then they go inside and add thier own meaning to what we said and then draw a conclusion, not purely on what was said, but on what they thought we said.
we can`t help that process occuring in others, but we can begin to see ourselves shading the words we hear with meanings that we are adding to the message.
stop it the moment you catch yourself.
you see it happening to others as you talk to them. you know when people are begining to misunderstand you........thier nose turns up and thier body language shifts, you can see the precise moment that they are going to draw the wrong conclusion about what you are saying....and you say "but don`t get me wrong......"
we have to sensitise ourselves to our own internal witness. the bit that says in our mind that says..........."oh, he must mean this or that"
and that`s where we begin to get it wrong.
be patient with yourself and ask questions if you are unsure. people aren`t trying to be confusing, though confusion does happen. it`s up to you to get clarification until you both understand what`s being said.
then you can go on to the next thing.