Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Whether you associate Hearing It Through The Grapevine with Marvin Gaye or with the California Raisins, you can appreciate the notion of the angst and anxiety that arise when you learn second- or third-hand what someone said about you.

Well, I'm here to tell you, dear readers: the Grapevine is crap. Eff the Grapevine is what I am saying to you. The Grapevine is a dirty, dirty lie. (Are we clear?)

Perhaps other adults learned this sooner than I, but it's a real revelation to me. An epiphany, if you will. The scales have fallen from mine eyes, etc. But whenever anyone tells you "So-and-So said so-and-so..." please to be disregarding it, because whatever that person is telling you reveals more about that person than it does about So-and-So or about you. If it matters to you what So-and-So said -- and 9 times out of 10, it probably should not matter to you -- then talk to So-and-So directly to find out where he or she stands.

This goes way beyond "Consider the source." This is not advice about filters or lenses or screens or any of the other interpersonal communications buzzwords. What I am sharing with you is my newfound belief that we, as humans, guess wrong 99% of the time if there's ANY room for interpretation of another person's message. And unless the message is "FIRE, GET OUT," there's pretty much always room for interpretation. So, because we guess wrong in the 1st-degree communication (A saying something to B), by the time it gets to a 2nd-degree communication (B conveying that something to C), there's no way in hell it's even close to what A originally intended to communicate.

Therefore! From now on, I disempower all the angst and the worry and the anxiety and the fear and the trepidation and the queasiness and the sweaty palms and the rapid heartbeat and the et cetera that comes from Grapevine bullcrap. (*Poof!*)

At least, that's what I intend to do.


Ket said...

Wowza. Sounds like you were on the wrong end of a game of telephone. BUMMER!

I, for one, think you are a stand-up guy. At least that's what I tell everyone. :)

Scott S. Semester said...

Haha, yeah. I guess this came out a little more stream-of-consciousy than I intended, but I think the other person's worry that I might blog about this whole incident made me want to blog about it MORE. :P

Ah, well...