This apparently perverse principle is worth sticking with. Think of situations when someone is communicating with you. In truth a part of the communication is subconscious so, by definition, you’re not aware of it. And a lot of the remaining conscious communication is non-verbal so difficult to discuss. Nevertheless, when you’re receiving communication from someone, you can only interpret it according to your own abilities: knowledge of language, experience of other people’s communication, own world view and so on. If the other person’s communication requires you to know or understand stuff which you just don’t, you will substitute what you do know and understand as best you can. Again, this is partly a subconscious process, so you’re not aware you’re doing it.
A classic example is when then prime minister Margaret Thatcher was widely quoted as saying “There is no such thing as society”. Although her apologists to this day insist she was quoted out of context and she meant something else entirely, the message that most people got was “There is no such thing as society”.
> The outcome of a communication is what we intend it to be
> Being a hypocrite [on the Thatcher quotation]
by Jeremy Marchant . last updated 15 december 2014 . image: Free images