Pacing and PausingSaratried to befriend her old friendSteve's new wife, but Bettyneverseemed to haveanything to say. WhileSarafeltBettydidn't hold up her end of the conversation, Bettycomplained to StevethatSaranevergave her a chance to talk. The problem had to do withexpectationsaboutpacing and pausing.
Conversation is a turn-takinggame. When our habits are similar, there's no problem. But if our habits are different, you may start to talkbefore I'm finished or fail to takeyourturnwhen I'm finished. That's what was happeningwithBetty and Sara.
It may not be coincidentalthatBetty, who expectedrelativelylongerpausesbetweenturns, is British, and Sara, who expectedrelativelyshorterpauses, is American. Bettyoftenfeltinterrupted by Sara. But Bettyherselfbecame an interrupter and foundherselfdoingmost of the talkingwhen she met a visitorfromFinland. And Sara had a hardtimecutting in on somespeakersfromLatinAmerica or Israel.
The generalphenomenon, then, is that the smallconversationtechniques, likepacing and pausing, leadpeople to drawconclusions not aboutconversationalstyle but aboutpersonality and abilities. Thesehabitualdifferences are often the basis for dangerousstereotyping (思维定式). And thesesocialphenomena can haveverypersonalconsequences. For example, a womanfrom the southwesternpart of the US went to live in an easterncity to take up a job in personnel. When the PersonnelDepartment got together for meetings, she keptsearching for the righttime to break in--and neverfound it. Althoughbackhome she was consideredoutgoing and confident, in Washington she was viewed as shy and retiring. When she was evaluated at the end of the year, she was told to take a trainingcoursebecause of her inability to speak up.
That's why slightdifferences in conversationalstyle--tinylittlethingslikemicroseconds of pause-can have a greateffect on one's life. The result in thiscase was a judgment of psychologicalproblems---even in the mind of the womanherself, who reallywonderedwhat was wrongwith her and registered for assertivenesstraining. 【題組】67. The underlinedword "assertiveness" in the lastparagraphprobablymeans __
(A) beingwilling to speak one's mind (B) beingable to increase one's power (C) beingready to make one's own judgment (D) beingquick to express one's ideasconfidently