How to Irritate People

I know, they are supposed to be enlightened ways to communicate, but… the Socratic MethodE-Prime, and Nonviolent Communication (NVC), are all good ways to piss off the people you use them on. I mean, look what happened to Socrates!

That’s not the stated purpose of any of those communication tactics, of course, but that’s where they almost always lead if the people pick up on what you are doing. I’ve seen it time after time, and I have also felt the same anger when they were used against me. It feels like I’m being manipulated. I’d rather someone just call me nasty names.

Now, each of those tactics might have their place, when used sparingly and when abandoned as soon as they start angering the other person in the conversation. Unless your point is to make people mad, that is. That probably has its place, too.

Those aren’t the only communication styles which irritate people. Using logic can also trigger people and cause emotional explosions. So, you probably need to tailor your approach to your audience. One size doesn’t fit all. And some people are going to dig their heels in and defend their faith no matter what you say or how you say it.

I’m not saying I communicate in any way better. I know I am not everyone’s cup of tea. Whatever the method is that I use (if I have a method) isn’t going to be appreciated by those who prefer one of the methods listed above. But maybe, for those who feel manipulated by the above communication tactics, I and others might have something to contribute. And, I’m always trying to communicate more effectively, even if I don’t buy into some of the styles others find helpful.

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Kent McManigal

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