Have you ever felt like interrupting someone in the middle of a sentence because they were unable to get to the point and the explanation they were offering went back to the beginning of life on earth? “Just cut to the chase,” a voice inside your head was screaming, while you were biting your lips not to hurl several epithets in your interlocutor’s face.

 Check out: How to Listen When Your Communication Styles Don’t Match






  • patronize – treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority
  • volatile – liable to display rapid changes of emotion
  • belabor – argue or elaborate (a subject) in excessive detail
  • amygdala – a roughly almond-shaped mass of gray matter deep inside each cerebral hemisphere, associated with the sense of smell
  • hardwired – genetically determined or compelled
  • oblivious – not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one
  • filibuster – an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures
  • on the same page – (of two or more people) in agreement


Think about it

 Answer the questions below.

  • Are people with different communication styles unable to listen to each other with an open mind?
  • What is an amygdala hijack?
  • How to cope with an interlocutor who is a venter/screamer?
  • What might be the underlying reasons why some people become explainers/belaborers?
  • Explain the meaning of the phrase “captive audience.”
  • Why is it a good idea to kowtow to people with difficult communication styles?


Practice makes perfect

 Fill in the blank spaces with the words in bold.

why   –   down   –   due   –   fail   –   to   –   as   –   consider


Why do people who ________ themselves good communicators often ________ to actually hear each other? Often it’s ________ to a mismatch of styles: ________ someone who prefers to vent, someone who prefers to explain seems patronizing; explainers experience venters as volatile.

This is ________ so many of us see our conversational counterparts ________ lecturing, belaboring, talking  ________ to us, or even shaming us (if we are venters and they are explainers) or as invasive, out of control, and overly emotional (if we’re an explainer and they’re a venter).

Facing this kind of mismatch, what do you think the chances are for either person actually listening with an open mind?


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