SPEECH AND COMMUNICATION ARE NOT THE SAME THING
The wise man knows that face-to-face communication between human beings is more influenced by the tone and demeanor of the speaker than by the actual words used. If the hearer senses even a hint of arrogance, condescension, or malice, a negative attitude, an argumentative tone, or any anger or outrage toward him/her in what a speaker is saying, it is human nature to assume a defensive approach and ‘entrench’. That means true communication gets shuts down before it starts – no matter how much truth is spoken thereafter.
Written communication between human beings is even more challenging. Written communication is more influenced by the subjective belief/imagination/interpretation of the recipient regarding what he envisions the tone and demeanor of the speaker to be than it is influenced by the actual words the speaker uses.
The wise man therefore realizes that even choosing his words carefully, and speaking ‘truth‘, is not enough. He knows that he has a responsibility to adopt a tone of voice, demeanor, and medium likely to facilitate genuine communication. The wise man knows that lectures are for the classroom, that sarcasm is for sadists, and that whining, complaining, blaming, cursing, accusing, and ranting are for self-obsessed control-freaks.
~ Bill Bullock (The Rabbi’s Son)