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Checkpoint: Word Barriers

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CheckPoint: Word Barriers
Francis Felter
XCOM/200
8/10/2011
Debra, Bourdeau

According to Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others (2008), The first step to bridging differences between cultures is to find out what hampers effective communication (Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond, 2008). Men and women in romantic relationships are no different when it comes to communicating with one another. XCOM/200’s Appendix B, Fictitious Online Chat Conversation (2011), is a conversation between Karen and Brian where differences culminate into communication barriers that can damage their relationship. There are many self-oriented communication barriers amongst many fallacies that can cause Karen and Brian to hurt their relationship.
Here is the conversation, the communication barriers presented, and a rephrasement: 1) 6:27pm
Karenblue852 says: where r u?????? u r always late. you were supposed 2 b here like 25 minutes ago!!!!!
The communication barrier in the starting sentence is static evaluation as Karen is labeling Brian without considering a change that Brian may have good reason to be late. Karen could have simply stated “I am here waiting Brian, is there a change in plans?”

2)6:41pm

bRiAn_sMoOtHe says:
HEY, WHAT’S UP? I’M HERE. BTW, I’M RUNNING LATE, I’LL BE THERE SOON, JUST ORDER ME A SANDWICH, I GOT HELD UP AT THE OFFICE
Lack of clarity and tone are communication barriers presented by Brian in this instance. Stating “I’m here…” might give Karen a slight false sense of hope that Brian was physically there. Another communication barrier presented by Brian is watching for tone while texting; capital letters while texting is universal for yelling. Brian could have texted, “Karen, I apologize for not calling you.” “I was given an extra work assignment and mismanaged my time, what do propose we do, I may be here a while longer.”

2) 6:42pm
Karenblue852 says: hello??!!! i already ordered u a sandwich like 10 hours ago and you’re making me look stupid sitting here by myself. why can’t u ever b on time, u r so rude and disrespectful!!!!
Karen is presenting the polarization and assuming differences communication barriers. Assuming that Brian is always different from her and over exaggerating the situation with the rude and disrespectful comment polarizes the situation when she makes the distinction of good and evil. There are times when unseen situations entrap people where Karen could have been more understanding that perhaps Brian was trying his hardest to finish his work, but did not call because he thought he could make it. Karen would have been better texting, “I ordered you a sandwich thinking you would be here, how much longer until you complete your work?”

3) 6:59pm bRiAn_sMoOtHe says:
HEY I CAN’T GO. I’M REALLY SORRY KAREN. I HAVE TO FINISH THIS STUFF…
Again it seems Brian is yelling which can be a communication barrier in any texting or email, but the major communication barrier is treating Karen impersonally by lack of clarity as to what “stuff” is more important than Karen. Brian could have said, I can explain as soon as I get there or see you at home,” because Karen would deserve an explanation for being stood up.

4) 6:59pm
Karenblue852 says: i hate u!!!!……..u r such a JERK!!!!
Karen uses demeaning language as a communication barrier. Sometimes a job that pays the bills puts great pressures on people to brown nose in fear of being fired. Perhaps Brian is fed up with having to always be late as well, but it also seems the pressure of his employment keeps him from having time with Karen. Karen does have a right to be upset, but perhaps she is upset with the wrong person; Brian’s boss could be taking unfair advantage of Brian’s expertise that puts Brian between a rock and a hard place. But no matter how upset Karen is does not give her the right to name call. Karen could have responded with, “I am going home, we can discuss this later.”

5) 7:01pm bRiAn_sMoOtHe says:
YEAH, OK. STEWARDESS WHOSE FLIGHTS ALWAYS ARRIVE LATE COMPLAINS WHEN THE MAN OF THE HOUSE HAS TO WORK OVERTIME IN ORDER TO ****BRING HOME THE $$$**** DEAL WITH IT!!!!!
This is a biased language/sexist communication barrier and tone barrier presented by Brian. In this instance Brian is assuming that his own male traditions are superior to those of Karen’s, and once again, it seems as though Brian is yelling at Karen. Just because Brian feels he is a man gives him no prestige over Karen being a flight attendant. Brian would have been better off apologizing with, “It is my fault, and may I talk to you about this when I get home?”(Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond, 2008).
The aforementioned quotes by Karen and Brian notes self-oriented barriers that cater to their own personal need rather than using other-oriented thinking that would have the two as a cohesive unit. Brian should have called Karen to reschedule the date instead of keeping Karen at bay. Karen should have been more empathetic towards Brian’s situation. There is a failure by both Karen and Brian to value what time they do have together. Sometimes situations pop up that creates superlative emotions as it did Karen and Brian, the best policy is for both Karen and Brian to keep their emotions in check.

Reference
Beebe, Steven A., Beebe Susan J., and Redmond, Mark V. (2008). Communication: Relating to Others, Fifth Edition. Retrieved from
http://portal.phoenix.edu/classroom/coursematerials/xcom_200/20110725/…...

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