Miscommunication

Last Friday, my FYE class participated in a little card game(s). The class was separated into 4 groups and each group was given a deck of cards and a set of rules. What we didn’t know was that each table was given a different set of rules (*gasp*). So my group spent the first 10 minutes deciphering the rules and working out the kinks of the game. After our first group’s games were over, the winner and the loser of each group were asked to switch tables and from then on we weren’t allowed to talk. You can probably guess what happened when we were asked to switch tables and start a new game with a different group of people.

Some people were confused, but didn’t mention it because they weren’t confident enough in their own rules from the previous game. Some people realized the rules might have been skewed, but continued to play along with whoever took control of the rules because they aren’t super competitive/didn’t care much. Some people were fairly certain of the rules from the previous game and assured the others of their own rules (non verbally of course).

I have this annoying personality quirk where I can’t accept being wrong/incorrect. So this was particularly difficult for me. I was getting irrationally frustrated at a silly card game simply because I knew I was right (according to my own rules) and I assumed my new group just didn’t read the rules correctly. I eventually caved and played by their rules because it’s hard to argue my case without being able to talk. I realized the rules were probably skewed about halfway through that second game and I was relieved.

Communication is very effective when used correctly; I can’t even imagine being a foreign exchange student in a country where I only speak a portion of the native language.

This exercise definitely brought my “know it all” complex down a few levels, which I really appreciate. I need to improve my communication skills in regard to keeping an open mind. I’m working on it, but, hey, we all have things we wish we could change about ourselves.

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