Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Impact v intent

Browsing on the internet this week I seem to have read a lot about misunderstandings. They happen every day. We rarely see the world from someone else's perspective. If we are lucky we occasionally share random points of view. I thought this: "impact is more important than intent--whether we meant to hurt is not really the point. It's how our actions were felt by the other person" was such a neat way of describing the dichotomy where someone is insulted/offended by words that were never meant to do so. (Credit for the quote to Bird, which in its original context was in relation to sexual harassment training). It's hard to apologise when you never intended to do anything wrong. But when you have been hurt and that's not acknowledged at all, it's even harder. It stays with you and colours your view of people you once thought were friends. I know. I've been in both positions. I wish I didn't get it wrong. But I also wish people didn't get it wrong with me too. Lack of communication and honesty ruins relationships of all sorts. It would be nice if we could trust people enough to be honest with them, to say when we are offended, to say what we really think. But it doesn't happen. And another relationship falls off the end. And for a good read on different perceptions, click here to read WhyI'mbitter's interesting post.

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