Communication is difficult.
There was a lull in the middle of a group discussion as the main individual prepared something on his laptop. A few moments passed before it occurred to me that that would be a good time to take a quick bathroom break, instead of having to disrupt the discussion later. I turned to him, frowned (as I naturally/habitually do) and asked,
“Are you still doing that?”
— thinking that if he responded with a “yes”, I’d excuse myself to the bathroom, and if he said something along the lines of “almost done”, then I’d have missed the opportunity and would stay.
But, this was how the miscommunication played out:
Me: (frowns) “Are you still doing that?”
Him: (misinterprets question as “My gosh, what’s taking so long? Why aren’t you done yet? Hurry up!” — frowns; ignores me)
Me: (frowns more deeply; stands up and leaves for the bathroom)
Annoyance for all parties involved is what most of my conversations are laced with.