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01 January 2009 @ 11:03 pm
Information level mismatch  
I sometimes talk more than people would like. I would often like other people to talk more. When I talk, I do so knowing that what I say isn't the most important thing ever. I expect some of what I say to be lost. But I figure if I give you the information and you only use 1% of it, then it's still better if I'd said nothing at all. I do censor what I say, but apparently not enough for most normal people. I don't say things because I think you're dumb or inadiquate. I'm just trying to be helpful and prevent miscommunicaiton. I'm not sure this is something I can change about myself.

The biggest problem is that most of the people who don't want me to say as much, tend to not commuicate that to me.

I think it's just a mismatch in how much information people want.
Jadiajadia on January 2nd, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
Hm, I don't think you talk more than most people want or censor yourself too little. Maybe all that means is that I do the same, though. ;-)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 2nd, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
most of my friends seem to be the same level of information. The problem only occurs when I start hanging around the information mismatch people.
Binkbinkbink on January 2nd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
This situation is much more uncomfortable with the taciturn because it is hard to determine why they are quiet. Their lack of communication is frequently evidence that they didn't understand enough to comment.

The main problem comes from there being two styles of conversation.

There are the high participation conversationalists who like to contribute. It is a kind of gift giving or generosity that motivates them to add to the conversation. This style can end up with several people talking at once and simultaneously listening to several threads which commonly go off on tangents.

The second style is the low participation mode, where people take turns and only contribute if asked. This style requires that you say only the same amount as the initiator or a little less, that you wait until a full stop with a pause, and you maintain eye contact.

When these styles mix, the high contribution people are either labeled Motormouth or feel like one, and feel that getting the other person to contribute is like pulling teeth, while the low contribution person feels like they aren't getting their turn, or they can't sort out the jumble of words and concepts.

From the LP point of view, the HP person doesn't seem to be listening, seems to interrupt, seems to be giving too much information, or seems to be diminishing the LP speaker's tale of woe. When the LP relates a problem, and the HP contributes their own experience by way of sympathy and trying to make the LP feel less alone, the LP sees it as trying to one up them.

From the HP point of view, the LP seems grumpy, withdrawn or shy, unfriendly, stingy, and aloof or arrogant because they can't tolerate a contributory interruption.

This also goes with another mismatch which is statistically gender based:
When a woman complains about a problem, she usually just wants someone to say something about understanding, or "yes, I had that problem too" but the male pattern is to offer a solution.

If the woman has been struggling with the problem, she has probably tried all the possible solutions without success or she wouldn't be complaining, so when the man offers his suggestions, she sees it as him thinking she is too stupid to see this for herself.
When the man complains, he is expecting to be presented with a suggestion for the solution, so when a woman shares her own (possibly unsuccessful) experience with a similar problem, the man sees it as an attempt to remove the focus from his problem, rather than the comfort that he is not alone.

I wonder if the LP conversationalists are as embarrassed by their style and how they are perceived as most HP are?