We have all heard, and used, expressions like “Oh, come onnn,” or “What, do you think I’m, a (fill in the blank),” or the ubiquitous “Duhhh.” These are all meant to convey to whomever has spoken to us that we already know all about what they’re saying and expresses outrage that they could think anything else of us. On the other end the person who stated the obvious immediately jumps to the defensive mode. But how can they possibly know, especially if they are acquaintances, not friends or family, that we do have knowledge of what they are saying? Even if that person is friend or family they are certainly not aware of all our facets. Stating the obvious is a way to make certain that real communication is happening and is not just vague head nods or agreement only to bring the conversation because almost always we will respond to a statement of the obvious. We want others to know that we are not uninformed or have not thought about a specific subject, we want to thought of as intelligent and up to date. So we’re caught on both ends of the ‘obvious’ dichotomy – we are sometimes the duh-er and sometimes the duh-ee and for the most part can’t help our responses. Wouldn’t it be better to be patient with one another than to denigrate one another immediately?