A female colleague speaks to her male colleague at work: ‘I understand that you feel hurt because of the misunderstanding with the boss – by the way, have you written the letter I asked you to prepare?’ / A wife turns to her husband: ‘I am glad that you won first place in the sales competition. What are you going to have for supper?’
These are examples of verbal communications that indicate that the speaker is not really interested in the subject brought up by the other person. A change of subject is similar to an ‘avoidance tactic, however, a change of subject clearly communicates that we do not wish to speak about something, while an ‘avoidance tactic’ attempts to create the impression of good intentions on the part of the person avoiding the subject. Where the intentions are clearly indicated, this leads to a closure of the flow of information from one side. Attempts to change the subject are a serious barrier to communication.