Who is to blame if communication went wrong?

I think you will know this situation: you talk with someone about a difficult topic and at some point the conversation leads to an intense discussion and then to a dispute. And maybe you think the other person has done everything wrong and it was his fault that the discussion went wrong.

But it isn’t that easy. In most cases both participants have done some mistakes. Communication is always an interplay between the persons. Personal traits and behaviors will influence the talk. But the behavior of a person is not given by the person itself. The other person will always have influence on the behavior of the first one.

For example you talk with someone who speaks the whole time. He likes to talk and therefore he has the tendency to dominate the conversation. But this is only possible if you allow it! So your behavior will influence the behavior of your communication partner.

In the above example and also in other communication situations, one person is the victim and has to suffer because of the behavior of the other. But this is only possible if the victim accepts his role. He accepts his role and therefore he is also responsible for the bad behavior of the other person.

In summary, in such conflict stations during a conversation, there is not a single villain and a single victim. Both communication partners will have influence on each other. So these villain and victim roles are only possible if both people accept these roles. Therefore both have to blame if communication goes wrong.

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