Wednesday, October 21, 2009

communication

after i had my last meeting today, i headed downtown for a late lunch. thankfully, i was able to slip into ryowa and snag a table by the window.....


before they stopped serving their lunch specials. they stop serving their lunch specials at 2:30. although the weather warmed up a bit today, i was in the mood for some ramen and do find that i enjoy the ramen quite a bit here.

today, i ordered the butter corn ramen lunch special which means you get a bowl of ramen, rice, and gyoza.


the butter corn ramen includes the slices of tender pork, corn, seaweed, and a pat of butter (hence "butter corn").


i'm not certain what it is about soup. i always gravitate toward it when i'm thinking about things....well, soup and hot chocolate are the most common things i get pretty pensive over. i suppose it is natural to gravitate towards something that provides comfort during quiet moments of reflection and introspection.

as i was taking some foodie porn shots, i was mulling over how these days....i spend a lot of time thinking about effective communication.



how i communicate to a german-born citizen in our german office is a heck of a lot different than how i communicate to someone in our headquarters in the uk or even our us-based office. this is just the surface....how i communicate also differs depending on their role, department, and how they process/take-in information. this, as you can imagine, takes quite a bit of upfront consideration and work.

yet, this is also something that i do in my personal life as well. however, i am a lot more emotionally invested with folks in my personal life. i actually care about how loved ones are going to respond as opposed to work...where my primary goal is efficiency and ensuring (the best that i can) my mixture of firm diplomacy is clearly communicated.

yet, there are instances in my life and outside of it where i see people deliberately lashing out, being very disrespectful, and well...wrong. often times, this asshole-like behavior is a result of

  • thriving on drama....(drama queens are not limited to gender btw...the biggest queens i have ever met have been straight men)
  • deliberately pushing boundaries to see how far they can go (this, i have found, is behavior not limited to 2 year olds)
  • having little to no respect for those around them
  • insecurity
  • a desire for power....putting others down to inflate their sense of self/power
i have little tolerance for people such as these. this is one of my biggest weaknesses actually. i have been told on more than one occasion that "you don't suffer fools" and well, the fools usually figure this out real quick.

hmmmmm......and this is what i was definitely thinking about while i was slurping my way through my ramen today.....


i usually evaluate if these "fools" are the "thrive on drama" kind or not. if they are the "thrive on drama" kind, then i usually shut down, become less and less emotional, and actually, communicate with them less and only communicate with them using reason. which, admittedly, tends to piss them off even more....because....they aren't getting what they want. they want you to engage....because to them, engaging means that you care enough to engage....and my reaction is "why should i feed your need for drama?"....hence, the emotion-less facade. yet, beneath the emotional-less facade is quite a bit of anger actually....for why should i be the reasonable one when they are being an emotional shit?...you know, saying whatever comes to mind....no matter how disrespectful or not thinking about consequences....or not intending to take responsibility for what they say.

it took quite a bit of processing while slurping my way through my soup for me to realize what was at the core of my anger. it angers me when those who communicate in such a way that is incredibly disrespectful...clearly have no intention of taking responsibility for what they say.... and my knowing that if they were treated similarly or presented with "you are acting like an asshole and therefore i want nothing to do with you"...they would cry "foul".

i also get angry at myself when i realize that this brings out the worst in me....where when presented with situations such as these....my desire to go for the jugular arises very close to the surface.....and reminds me that i have the capability to be quite ruthless. this is usually when i take a very deep breath and mutter "do no harm" as a kind of mantra or something....as it reminds me that just because i know how....doesn't mean that i should.

yet it is very hard.....especially when i think the person deserves it.


ramen house ryowa, 2068 University Ave, berkeley, ca 94704, +1 (510) 883-0667

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