why do my words not match my intentions?
so i made this comment on http://theoblogy.blogspot.com about Tony's wife having a narrow view of bloggers. when i wrote it, i meant for it to be funny. but then i just read it after being removed from how "funny" it was going to be and it didn't sound too good. but now there is nothing i can do about it. it just seems that is what happens to me a lot. why is it that the idea that is in my head cannot be conveyed to the person i am trying to communicate with or about? what often happens is i end up sticking my foot in my mouth, when if i would have said what i was really intending then i wouldn't have to taste rubber all the time. maybe that is why i identify with homer simpson so well. he seems to have good intentions, but ends up saying the dumbest things.
so i guess my question is, who takes more ownership in conversation? does the communicator take more responsibility to watch what they say, or does the listener take more ownership in how they perceive what has been said? i'm sure there is an element of both. but i wonder if, since we are to be in relationship with each other, there is a bit more responsibility on the receiver of the idea or thought communicated to understand what is being communicated. for example when my wife says something in a group of people that may be offensive, should i get offended when i know her and her intentions? or do i receive that idea differently than someone in that group who may not know her as well? because in the case of this comment, i had a presupposition that tony would know me well enough to understand my cynical/sarcastic sense of humor, but maybe he doesn't know me that well. if that is the case, then i may need to always be interpreting my relationship with someone while i am communicating, which can be quite a daunting task. this would probably mean that we must do away with presuppositions when we communicate. the problem then is, can we ever get past surface level communication and build authentic community if we don't work with a certain set of biases? if we could all be autonomous knowers and objective receivers then this question would be moot, but we are not those things. we are in relationship and we are very subjective people. this creates a lot of problems with communication and those problems are multi-layered. what i mean by multi-layered is that our forms of communication and our audiences/communities are layered. for example i communicate with my wife, friends, family, youth group, church members, church staff, etc in individual ways, but also in group settings. so how does a pastor know how to speak to their community? the pastor interprets what is going to be said from the communities stand point? i'm not sure that is even possible. can i really ever know how a person is going to receive the words that i give them? my head is spinning and i can go on no more.
this is probably a pretty simple thing and for some reason my brain won't let my heart understand it.