The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication

By William R. Cupach; Brian H. Spitzberg | Go to book overview

messages, the uncertain nature of events, and unsureness as to the content or purpose of the talk are four features of situations that lead individuals to respond equivocally. It is also likely that individuals may sometimes evade questions for personal gains that may involve a cost to others. The research presented in this chapter suggests though that many equivocal messages that occur in day-to-day interactions are attempts to avoid difficulties and unsuccessful communication that might arise from direct messages. Nonetheless, there may be some readers who remain convinced that equivocation is something undesirable. We suggest to these readers that before they judge an equivocal message as poor communication, they take a closer look at the purpose behind the question asked, the consequences a direct message would have for the interactants, and whether they are prepared to give an unpleasant but direct truth to someone about whom they care deeply.


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