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· I’ve told you three times in the last ten minutes. Are you deaf?
The actual words here could be interpreted as a genuine inquiry as to the state of the other person’s hearing. But of course, that’s not what underlies this question. People don’t use this question if they are making a genuine inquiry — they use slightly different wording.
This phrase, within the context of the conversation, is a put-down, a “less than” comment, and it has no place in any relationships where people care about each other. Yes, people do get angry, and say these kinds of things. And, no, it’s not constructive.
Make It Better:
If the other person doesn’t seem to be understanding your intent, or your words, don’t blame the problem on the other person. Take responsibility. Here are some examples:
· I’m not sure how to phrase what I’m trying to say, and I can see we’re both getting frustrated.
· I’m sorry if I’m not being clear. Let me try again and see if I can find a better way to help you understand.