Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Less Condescending

con·de·scend·ing

/ˌkändəˈsendiNG/
Adjective
  1.     Acting in a way that betrays a feeling of patronizing superiority.
  2.     (of an action) Demonstrating such an attitude.

Synonyms
patronizing - gracious

I am not always nice when I respond to questions and comments. I hope to improve upon that.

People often tell me things I already know. I feel like I know so little that rehashing the same information, after I have already thought about it seems like a poor use of time. That is probably inappropriate on my part. Well, I know for a fact that at least on one occasion my condescending response to another recently was uncaring and inappropriate.

The reaction that I get from people after I patronize them, however minor, is unpleasant. I need to change. I need to communicate better. People will probably tell me things I already know for the rest of my life. Perhaps since they are telling me something, it is a clue that a bigger discussion needs to be had. Instead of an undeserved authoritative tone or mild sneer (it felt that way twice in one afternoon recently) perhaps I can just say, "yes, I did hear that. What do you think about that?" That way I get the other person to open up and be more descriptive about the situation we are discussing. Plus, I don't impose my own previous thoughts and conclusions on the other person. 

Hopefully I can open up a dialogue about whatever the discussion is about, so that even if it takes a painful few minutes to discuss something I am already familiar, we will strengthen our relationship. Both of us will likely end up more educated. It is a win-win, as long as I don't get in the way of us discussing it.

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