Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad communication leads to frustration

I got caught between my mom and dad in a mini-argument yesterday. My dad was driving and he wanted to clarify something from my mom, so I had to talk to Mama on the phone while he drove and be their go-between. In hindsight, I guess I could've used the handsfree option of the mobile phone I was using but I didn't, therefore I ended up trying to communicate what the both of them had to say to each other at the same time.

Confusing? Imagine how I felt!

I couldn't help but get angry as well. I couldn't understand why my dad couldn't have just waited for my mom's reply to his text message to get the answer he was looking for, and at the same time I couldn't understand why my mom had to be so vague with her first reply, causing Papa to question her.

I've always been a firm believer of the two-steps-ahead principle. When informing someone a certain details, I believe it's always best to give as much information as possible. So instead of a situation going like this:

Mama's text: Call the driver to tell him to wait for Dad.
My text: Ok, why?
Mama's text: Because I asked him to come here.
My text: Ah okay? To pick you up?
Mama's text: No.
My text: Then why did you ask the driver to go there?
Mama's text: To bring home the car I brought to Arlington.

It could have been a simple straight forward message, like this:

"Call the driver to tell him to wait for Dad. Because I told him to come here and bring home the car I brought to Arlington so that we'll only have one car out of the house."

See! Simple. Everything needed to be known by the parties involved in one text message. I really don't get why some people like to give information in such piecemeal fashions, when the world would be so much simpler is everything was just laid out on the table.

Then on to my dad. Impatience personified.

Dad: What did Mom say?
Me: To call the driver because she asked him to go there. (So I call the driver and tell him to wait.)
Dad: Why did she want the driver there?
Me: I don't know yet, she hasn't responded to my message.
Dad: Call her. I want to know now.
Me: I texted her already, we can wait.
Dad: No, call her. She might not have heard your last message.

Note, my last message to Mama then was sent out not two seconds previously. He just could not wait! Can you say, headache?

So that's how I ended up calling my mom and her answering my query about the driver in this high-pitched "I'm-getting-angry" voice. To which I couldn't help but counter with my own high-pitched angry voice.

These are two things I see in their relationship that I hope to God I never adopt. Vagueness and impatience. Okay, so we may be a bit to late on impatience. I think it runs in the blood. But vagueness, that's something I think I can still work on.

This is communication at its finest, for me. Clear. Concise. Undemanded. And direct between the two parties involved. When a relationship's communication is honed and perfected, all would be merry. It's such an easy thing to do, not at all difficult to practice yet so many people fall into the trap of miscommunciation.

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