Sorry Adam, I got a bit flustered!
Perhaps then, in turn, it comes down to their reaction to the unexpected response? I expect what Keith was trying to say is that a person’s expectations (of a polite/formula response) have the effect of inhibiting that persons ability to receive (and understand/be interested in) the other party’s comment. Socially, I agree that expecting a certain response does not necessarily cancel any liklihood of showing interest, but I do think it limits that persons receptiveness to novel communication. If we’re to speak in generalisations, most people would raise their eyebrows, offer a witty come-back and move on. Perhaps they wouldn’t go, “‘Hey, that’s an interesting thing to say, let’s follow your lead and explore it more”.
I’m not sure I can answer this effectively by myself. Maybe you need to define “expectations” and “interest”. Can there be “partial expectations” and “partial interest”? I’m inclined to think not because to me, having preconceived ideas about what you are about to hear in response to your communication steals away your interest in what you will hear. You already “know” what you’re going to hear so you’re effectively not interested at all. You might hear a surprise response and recover and ask the person to repeat the novel communication, which would be an expression of interest the second time around but you couldn’t really argue that you were interested in the person’s response the first time. You weren’t making yourself available for the communication while you had expectations about what that person was going to say.
I think I agree. Interest is what leads you to understanding for the most part. Interest is what leads you to delve deeper, get involved, ask questions and appreciate the point of view of the other party. You can’t do this authentically if you’re pre-empting what the other is going to say.
A big part of NLP learning is just “being conscious” of yourself and others. A lot of it is really just learning simple techniques that help you identify with the other party or disassociate your (generally negative) emotions from a certain behaviour loop you’re stuck in. Imagine observing yourself interacting with others through a closed circuit video system. How does it feel to watch yourself from a more objective position? How does it feel to put yourself in the other party’s shoes? What do you learn about yourself in such a scenario?
Give it a try – what was the last situation you were in where you felt you had no course of action? Sit back and watch yourself do it as it was. See it again from the other party’s POV. Then (reframe it), consciously imagine yourself handling it differently and analyse potential outcomes from your alternative response. This is a crash course in the absolute basic practice of NLP. There’s not a lot to it. The hardest part is accepting advice or intervention if you feel you need it (ie, reframing exercises came up with no new options for you). There are always alternatives. It’s a matter of rejecting old, unworkable habits and discovering new ways that provide you with more choice and more creative ways of coping with the situation upon which you are focussed.
Any clearer? Hope I haven’t over-explained.