Understanding Misunderstandings: A Practical Guide to More Successful Human Interaction

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University of Texas Press, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 172 pages
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Have you ever meant one thing, but said another? Reacted angrily when no offense was intended? Wished that the earth would open up and swallow you? Understanding Misunderstandings will help you get out and stay out of these difficulties. Robert L. Young explains why many common types of misunderstandings arise and how they can be avoided or corrected. In the first part of the book, he breaks the process of misunderstanding down into stages, showing how it can occur when we misspeak, mishear, misinterpret, or react in inappropriate ways. In the second part, he expertly analyzes the kinds of misunderstandings that can arise from differences in culture, social class, race and ethnicity, and gender. Real-life examples illustrate many of the problems and solutions he describes. Because misunderstanding can destroy friendships and marriages, wreck careers, and lead to clashes between whole segments of society, understanding and diffusing it is of the utmost importance. This reader-friendly book provides the practical guidance to do just that. Educators, business people, psychologists, parents--in fact, everyone who interacts with other people--will benefit from it.

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Contents

PART ONE The Process of Misunderstanding
11
CHAPTER THREE Observing Behavior
31
CHAPTER FOUR Making Sense of What We Perceive
45
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About the author (1999)

Robert L. Young is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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