Since then, I have discovered a few barriers to communication that I’d like to share with you now.
The first barrier is called Mutually Assured Distraction (MAD). In this model, two me-oriented persons are transmitting simultaneously. The messages hurl towards each other much like two freight trains on a single track. When they meet somewhere in the middle, the messages explosively cancel each other out, very effectively preventing any actual communication from taking place. Since the transmit sources are so fully locked in me-only-modes, neither party is aware that all communications have been blocked. This blockage is also known as Conversational Mushroom Cloud.
Some modern communications are so completely surrounded by this particular barrier that they go through life locked in transmit while remaining blissfully unaware that none of their messages have ever been received.
The second barrier turns out to be something inside each and every one of us. (Well, most of us.) It is our very own brain working against us being effective communicators! Cranium drainium is a condition suffered by an alarming number of modern communicators. In a process known as thin slicing, our brains peripherally receiving incoming messages. Involuntary functions within the brain perform a very limited analysis of these messages. Those that are identified as pertaining to ourselves are admitted to higher levels of consciousness. Those that don’t pass this test are vigorously attacked, much like antibodies defend us against biological intruders. Those with highly developed cranium drainium systems are able to go through life believing that everything is about them.
The third barrier I’d like to discuss is something I’ve dubbed recievius terminus. Those with this condition are, like the rest of us, very developed me-oriented communicators. They can expound about themselves nearly 24/7 and with an amazing level of excruciating detail. But even the best me-communicators need breaks. That’s where recievius terminus kicks in. Literally nanoseconds after their final me-transmission has ended, a recievius terminus expert will take dramatic action to prevent the possibility of communications from anyone else being received. The most common form of this is probably turning one’s back and aggressively walking away.
See how many of these barriers to communication you can identify as you engage in conversation in the coming days. I bet you’ll have a plethora of opportunities to witness these in action.
I would suggest that you return here to report your findings but alas, I won’t be listening.
This is my file photo for all Dr. Seuss posts. That's a bear and garbage!
It is time to commence with my commencement address. Please don’t worry about my qualifications. I have a Ph.D. (honorary) from the school of hard knocks.
“Dear Class of 2010. I don’t like speaking in public so I’ll be brief. Here is a slide show. I think you’ll find it pretty much explains everything you’ll ever need to know about your bright future. By the way, my associate Doctor Seuss helped me put this together.”