Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to withhold the Truth

Both parties involved in a communication have the opportunity to share a particular version of the truth. Whether or not this version of the truth is 100% honest depends on the individual and the particular communication in question. Most people have experience sharing tailored versions of the truth in certain  situations. For example, the parent who flushes a toddler’s goldfish down the toilet: You see, Dorothy is swimming to the ocean to be with her friends! Some would call this type of communication a lie. Others recognize it as an attempt by a parent the explain a difficult situation in a way that a small child can understand.

Sometimes we don’t understand the truth ourselves, particularly where our own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are concerned. Drug addicts and alcoholics, for example, are often unable to understand the truth about their own drinking or drug use.

Good communicators understand that the people with whom they are speaking, even when speaking truthfully, are sharing the truth as they understand it. Those who do not, may be headed for a communication breakdown.




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