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Communication styles

I know I keep linking to theferrett, but he sparks off lots of interesting discussions on his blog. The latest one is about styles of arguing.

He posits that there are two basic styles - the Hulk and the Doe, they seem to have come to be known - and asks how we can compromise so that people with different styles can communicate effectively. Hulks are the people who get really passionately involved in every argument. They'll state things as fact, but are expecting you to disagree with them and try to disprove their points. They probably won't actually be shouting, but their excitable tone, and body language like leaning forward and waving their hands about, will mean it might seem to the other person that they are. They often think aloud, and work their position out fully as they go. And, I think, they aren't likely to give in to anything other than an equally passionate and excitable rebuttal of their ideas, because in their mind, if someone won't stand up strongly for their idea then it can't be worth standing up for.

Does prefer discussions to arguments. They'll put things forward as opinions rather than fact, because they realise their opinions are fluid and can change through learning more facts or a new point of view. (So do most Hulks, it's just that they assume that the "I think" at the start of the sentence is obvious.) They like to have their points fully formed in their head before making them, which often means that by the time it's formed the Hulk will have moved on to another point or a tangent. They make a strong distinction between the person and the argument, and often try to keep strong emotions out of it altogether and stick to logic and reason. They can feel attacked or bullied by the Hulk, and frequently just bow out of the argument because they don't enjoy the more combative experience, and it seems to them that the Hulk just isn't going to listen to their arguments, because they seem so absolutely confident about their idea.

(Erk. That was supposed to be a brief summary.)

A lot of the comments on that entry are worth reading, especially here, here and here (relating this to the Myers-Briggs personality inventory).

silenceleigh follows it up here theferrett talks about it again here, and andrewducker here.

It's probably obvious from the comments I chose to link to that I'm a Doe, but this discussion's made it more likely I'll stand up for myself when I'm arguing with Hulks. I know quite a few, and up till now, I've tended to just agree with them unless it's something I feel really strongly about, because I can't be bothered getting into something that feels to me like a proper argument when I don't think the other person's prepared to listen to a word I say. But apparently, they probably are, so maybe I'll learn to make my points a little more strongly.

[In other news: yes, that's the right time. I was playing Playstation. Age of Empires is addictive, even if it did tell me "Save successfull" every time I saved the game. *flaps in annoyance*]


( 4 comments — Comment )
Jan. 18th, 2006 07:10 am (UTC)

I too am a Doe, but I am quite capable of simply digging my heels in and calmly refusing to move if I feel that anyone (self or other person) is being browbeaten.
Jan. 18th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
#Doe! A deer, a female deer, Hulk! a way of breaking heads!#
Jan. 18th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
You win Teh Internet.
Jan. 18th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Jolly good. Thay can have the porn sites and the creationist sites back, though.
( 4 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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