Personal Responsibility in Communication

I’m a communicator.

That means  I”m so very happy to tell you all about my feelings on just about any topic you wanna throw my way – extensively.  Blame it on the blarney stone, blame it on a childhood in a house of academics, blame it on the boogie –  truth is, I communicate so much I exhaust myself at times.

It also means that when it comes to communication pet peeves; they’re serious bidness.  While people who don’t like to communicate is one of them – but it’s not the biggest by far.  My biggest communication peev is with people who say their into honest and straightforward communication when they really.  just.  aren’t.

You’ve probably met these people;   they talk, but the words coming out of their mouths don’t match up with what they mean.  An chilled I’m fine when asked what’s bothering them; a maybe when they really mean no; or a I’ll work on that when what they really mean is I have zero intention of changing my behaviour, but I’d like you to stop calling me on my shit for the moment.

As SlutWalkTO draws closer I’m finding myself in a number of conversations about personal responsibility, consent and communication – and I’m having trouble making it clear that I do believe in personal responsibility in communicating what we want, and respecting what people have communicated.  I’m also finding myself walking away from these conversations with one question:

Why is it that so often people abdicate themselves of their responsibilities when claiming to communicate?

Listen up:  I have a new toy is not saying I have a new toy that I would like to have used on me – would you be interested?  Saying You’re a cool person is not saying You’re a cool person that I would like to explore a relationship with; and saying anything other than I would like to have sex with you should not be taken as that (exceptions for fucking, boinking, doing the nasty, play hide the salmai , etc)

Unless we are being clear with what we want to say and the meaning behind our words, we are contribuiting to the problems caused by implication and assumption – and when you’re playing in the big kid’s sandbox, do you really want someone guessing about what you’ve consented too?  No Virginia, you cannot rely on others to error on the side of caution, so make damn well sure you do.

The potential for miscommunication fallout here is simply too great to risk.

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4 thoughts on “Personal Responsibility in Communication

  1. Bobby says:

    I’m a shy/socially-awkward/semi-introvert. I’d like to think I’m an honest and open communicator. However, it can be hard to fess up your interested and thoughts. Shy, fear of rejection, whatever. Sometimes it is easier to hint at something and see if the other party shows interest. (That’d be, providing an opening; not assuming interest when none is stated.)

    Um… yeah. Not sure what that has to do with anything except it is what popped into my head when I read your post.

  2. Ibid says:

    This is an excellent post. You say a lot of things about communication that many think would just be common sense, but it isn’t and even I have to catch myself at times to make my wishes, requests and messages clear. It can be a struggle against a personal awkwardness, years of bad habits and fear but it is also a brave thing to do.

    1. kinkopedia says:

      Struggle against personal awkwardness – I completely hear you on this point! And truthfully, it applies to so many aspects of my life, not just communication. Saying no has always been a hard point for me; I fear disappointing people, I worry someone won’t like me or think well of me if I turn them down; situations where I don’t want to cause a scene, so I’ve done thing I’d rather not have done/be doing.

      But each and every time I’ve stuck to my boundaries, been true to my needs/desires, or pushed through the awkwardness to communicate what’s important to me I wind up with a feeling of pride, which serves me motto of ‘be right with you’ and makes sure I’m cool with the person I see in the mirror, so even when it’s hard, experiencing that time and time again…well it doesn’t make it easier, but it strengths my resolve *to* do it, yanno?

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