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13 Dec

She: This does not seem to be pristine white.

How do you think “he” will understand this statement?

A. It is off white.

B. It is cream.

C. It is yellow.

D. It is grey

E. It is pitch black.

If “he” answers E then is it a misunderstanding?  Or is it colossal – misunderstanding does not even begin to describe it.  And how should “she” handle the situation?

Trust: Black and White or shades of grey?

4 Dec

She:  Hmm… I don’t think this is white.

He:  How dare you call this pitch black – do you think I am color blind?


I recently came across such a conversation between two mature (seemingly?) adults.  What would you say about it?  Is it a misunderstanding?  Or is the difference in perception so colossal that “misunderstanding” does not even start describing the difference?


What can be the reason for this huge difference?  Is it lack of trust?  Or is it something more sinister??

Understanding and Misunderstanding

21 Jul

There are millions of articles in the web regarding understanding, misunderstanding and making others understand.  In my opinion understanding or misunderstanding also involves trusting the other party in the conversation.  If you think that the other party is offending you in some way or being inappropriate then – if you trust the person you will pause for a moment; give the other person benefit of doubt and possibly ask for a clarification.  Most likely it will be a play of words that is leading to the negative feeling and will be clarified in an instant taking the trust of both the parties higher.

However in cases wherein there is a trust deficit then instead of reflecting and asking for a clarification you will jump on the incorrect play of words and accuse the other person directly (or worst silently in your mind) and the future interactions between the two people will be with enhanced mistrust.

Let me quote one example for each of the following –

Trust : Once a close friend and colleague of mine was confiding in me that she will start coming to work early henceforth.  I retorted saying that – “I don’t think you can.”.  She reflected (with a grim face) for a while and asked “Why do you say that?”. To which I responded you have very late night calls and hence it will be difficult for you to wake up early.  She said yes – u r right.

Mistrust:  I was talking to my garbage lady and asking her how does she manage to handle the “stink” of her job.  She responded saying that she does not “drink”.  (In my native language inhaling a smell and drinking a liquid have a similar verb.).  Then I had to explain myself saying I was referring to the stink and why would it be any of my business to speculate about her drinking habits.

Hmmm … food for thought – don’t you think so?  Do you have similar examples.  Do tell me in the comments below.

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