Occasionally – I will get into a conflict with someone, and I don’t know why. When I look back at the conversation, what I remember, it becomes apparent that either I baited someone into an argument, or vice versa.
Sometimes this happens because I attach connotative meaning to something someone says because I think I know what he or she means. Other times I have some history that comes to bear, so I project that history on top of something. In either case, the conversation becomes broken, and communication stops.
Inevitably, it turns out that I have tried to read meaning into something that someone didn’t intend, or maybe they did, but didn’t expect anyone to pick up on it, and so they are embarrassed that it was noticeable. Perhaps the best thing to do is to act as if everyone communicates superficially, and straight, and to simply communicate back at that level. To not read anything into other peoples statements and questions.
By ignoring perceived hidden agendas, ulterior motives, personal biases – my communication becomes straight; to the point. Not balled up in other peoples issues. As an analyst, I tend to try (too hard) to unwind this stuff and sometimes get wrapped around the axle in doing so. I react to my perceptions of others’ motive and agendas, rather than simply communicating facts and my opinions (when asked), I let my opinions of others interfere with communication.