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Online Miscommunication - Nerdful Mind #18

May 17, 2020 by Simon Mannes

As humans, we tend to misinterpret communication. Especially when we’re not seeing the other person face-to-face. When was the last time you received a text message that you stared on in disbelief? A message that made you feel angry, sad, or disregarded?

Events like this can lead to you hastily typing a response and the situation to escalate into an argument.

When we don’t see each other directly, we lack information: their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice. We also lack context information: what are they doing right now that led to them writing us a message? Our relationship with that person also influences how we interpret messages.

Always assume miscommunication over malice.

When you feel a heat wave rushing through your body upon reading a text message, take a deep breath. And then another. Ask yourself: Can I understand this message in another way? Does the content of the message imply any negative intention? Is there really negative content somewhere?

There is often no direct attack on us in a message. If you are not sure about the author’s intention, ask them what they meant. Your first intuition could have been right.. or completely wrong.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Reading Recommendations

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What Makes a Good Programmer? | Henrik Warne's blog

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Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Grab your hands and squeeze them tight. Hold that for 5 to 10 seconds, then let go. Be aware of how your hands feel. Stay with that feeling as long as you can.

This is a quick exercise that you can repeat throughout the day.

End note

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Have a great week


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