tone

Isn't it weird how tone is such an important part of communication? I'm very bad at hiding how I'm feeling. The words may come out ok but the tone gives me away every time. Usually I find this is a hindrance. Today, for example, I was talking to someone about what should be a very exciting life event. My words were fine but my tone was a leftover of work frustration. (Sorry about that...I really am happy for you.)

On the other hand, my tone totally helped at work today. You try to remain professional at all times regardless of the level of professionalism of those around you. Yeah, whatever. Not today. Today was one of those days where you just want to yell at co-workers, preferably including curse words. You'd like for them to just shut up or at least stop complaining. (For the record, the irony of this post is not lost on me. I know I complain just not all. the. time.) At some point I just couldn't take it anymore. The jovial attitude was out the window. Actually, the words that came out were similar to what I'd say normally but without the joking manner. If you drop that tone to something neutral--deadpan without the subsequent hint of teasing--it really stops people in their tracks. Take "bring it on, sista." Yep, can go from joking to confrontational like that. You know, um, for example. You cannot be subtle with these people. The bad mood I fell into by being surrounded by their negativity was the exact thing that got them to perk up a bit. Strange.

I could be kidding about this entire post but you'd never know because you can't hear me talking about it...

Comments

Bubba's Sis said…
Bubba's Mom used to say to me, "Don't use that tone with me, Missy!"

Apparently I have a hard time with that one myself.
Bubba's Sis said…
Oh, and apparently I am very logical, too! I got the same results as you. Does that mean we got them all right??
StaceyG said…
That's why important or personal discussions SUCK over email. Better not to have them because the receiver inserts their own tone, not necessarily the sender's intended tone.

EVEN IF YOU SHOUT! =)
Eddie said…
I always have trouble with controlling my facial expressions. Apparently I display disgust a lot, lol.
Katie Lady said…
Bubba and I talk about our 'tone' a lot. It makes a big difference.
Anonymous said…
But it's funny that when you know someone well, and you read their e-mails, you can almost hear them saying the words in your head, proper tone and everything.

cph

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