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Comm. skills seminar

Mara Casar mmc9 at acpub.duke.edu
Wed Jul 10 11:07:32 EST 1996


Lauryl Maiya J Nutter wrote:
> ....the thing that I have found helps is that I warn
> people about the possibility.  I can usually tell if a situation
> or subject of discussion is going to lead to this type of
> reaction, so if I feel it coming on I say something along the
> lines of "Listen, I might start to cry during this discussion.
> Don't let it distract you from what I am trying to say."  I find
> that this keeps people from focusing on trying to comfort me or
> trying to stop me from crying and instead focuses the discussion
> on what the subject is supposed to be.

I missed the beginning of this thread, but Lauryl's post reminded me of 
something that happened to me during my first semester of college.  I got 
back a paper I had written for a Western Civ class that was absolutely 
*covered* with red ink.  To be honest, I knew it wasn't a great paper, 
but my professor (who seemed to resent teaching a freshman class, albeit 
an honors-level one) tore it to shreds, even the parts I knew were good. 
 So I went to talk to him to defend my arguments.  Well, after about 5 
comments, he started to get rude - not listening when I explained why I'd 
made certain points, etc.  I got frustrated and the tears started flowing 
- I couldn't help it.  Unfortunately, he thought I was crying on purpose 
to get sympathy!  He became even ruder and accused me of trying to get 
him to feel sorry for me so he'd raise my grade.  The only way out of the 
situation was major brown-nosing... which I am not proud of.  

Is there anyone out there who has been in a similar situation where the 
person who's the source of your frustration has misinterpreted your 
reaction?  How do you handle it?  

-Mara



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