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Input - Specificness in Communication


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Hi everyone, quick question. Imagine you're in a tense discussion with a close friend, the source of tension being unresolved conflicts you are primarily responsible for creating.

They begin telling you that you have been there too much time, and you start to reach for your phone, to be ready to get up. They continue by expressing they mean generally, and you note this to yourself and no longer intend to get up and leave.

Meanwhile they've observed this in you, and they clarify to you that they aren't talking about in this moment, and you say 'I know'. To them, this means you are trying to say that you had known all along, that otherwise you would have said 'I understand'.

But to you, they mean the same thing in this sense, that they are interchangeable, and that otherwise you would have said "I knew".

Is there an inherent difference between the two? Thanks! :)

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I guess my initial question would be: why such heavy analyzation? 

44 minutes ago, bobsanders82 said:

Hi everyone, quick question. Imagine you're in a tense discussion with a close friend, the source of tension being unresolved conflicts you are primarily responsible for creating.

Is there a reason you've been an ongoing source of conflict in this friendship? Or is it the friend that is the source of ongoing conflict?

I guess I am just trying to understand the root of the tension in order to offer any sort of meaningful advice.

In this context, there is not necessarily a clear difference between saying "I know" and "I understand" in this scenario. Both phrases indicate that you are aware of what the person is saying and acknowledging their feelings.

Albeit some may interpret "I know" as being more dismissive, as if you already have all the information and there is nothing left to discuss, while "I understand" may be seen as showing empathy and a willingness to continue the conversation. 

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I would dispense with the analysis and simply follow up with what you personally meant when you said "I know".  And then I would have left -either way this doesn't sound fun - no point in prolonging the visit.

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1 hour ago, bobsanders82 said:

 Imagine you're in a tense discussion with a close friend, the source of tension being unresolved conflicts you are primarily responsible for creating.

I'm stuck on the above.  It would really help if you could expand a little on the above so as to have a better understanding on what exactly its all about.

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Since you know you're responsible for creating tension due to unresolved conflicts,  it's time to cut through the thicket and sincerely apologize preferably in person.  Tell this person you are truly sorry for something specific and articulate well. 

Don't make your topics complicated because it's maddening and infuriating.  If you're very sorry,  then say so and say why you are sorry for what you had done.  Take responsibility for any offense,  make amends honorably by being very humble and the friendship can heal. 

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I "know" & I "understand" can be synonymous but they are not identical.   The fact that you two are making these vocabulary choices another point of contention during a tense discussion that was deigned to heal prior conflicts indicates that you must both be exhausting to be around. 

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2 hours ago, TeeDee said:

I "know" & I "understand" can be synonymous but they are not identical.   The fact that you two are making these vocabulary choices another point of contention during a tense discussion that was deigned to heal prior conflicts indicates that you must both be exhausting to be around. 

I agree.  A complicated dialogue is senseless and endless.  It leads to nowhere.  It's not only fatiguing but eventually two people like this will ultimately become incompatible if not already.  I've encountered people like this and you end up talking in maddening circles. 😡 You might as well bang your head against a wall because it's the same effect.  ☹️   I've since called it quits because you feel as if you're dealing with someone with subpar intelligence.   🤨

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