Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

The Unspoken

with 2 comments

Mostly I suck at human relations. I just have a very difficult time socializing, because I rarely understand The Unspoken, the messges sent and received without language. I can tell when it’s being used, but almost never what is being not-said.

Furthermore, and perhaps contradictorily on a superficial level, I have fairly high empathy — that is, I usually have a good idea what mood other people are in, particularly if it is a strong emotion being experienced.

In consequence of the former, I tend to rub most people the wrong way. I irritate, I annoy, I anger them, all unintentionally.

In consequence of the latter, I am very, very good at doing it purposely, when I choose. And I won’t pretend virtue here — if someone has pushed my buttons enough that I’m actively pissing him off, then I thoroughly enjoy doing it.

The simplest way is forcing him to actually speak out what he was trying to communicate via The Unspoken. Most people use it to bypass confrontation with unpleasant truths. Making them state those truths directly forces both confrontation and admission.

A corollary method is to take people at their literal word. If they rely on The Unspoken method to carry their actual meaning, this will cause them no end of frustration — they can’t say that you were ignoring them, the most they can complain about is a lame, vague “you missed my real meaning” — and you can usually induce apoplexy by going back to what they actually said and asking them to point out the part you misunderstood. (It’s even better if you do it with total sincerity and innocence.)

Which, if you know anything about Chinese culture, should give you some small idea of how much I can drive people up the wall here.

When I want to. 🙂

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Written by [IMH]

4 April 2006 at 2:16 pm

Posted in General

2 Responses

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  1. I know exactly what you mean – I completely empathize. I often wonder if it’s some kind of ADD – but it seems like such a lame excuse – or at least something one doesn’t want to admit.
    However, I am in Beijing and I can tell you that daily frustrations here just seem to exacerbate the problem.

    myx

    4 April 2006 at 3:54 pm

  2. I know exactly what you mean – I completely empathize. I often wonder if it’s some kind of ADD – but it seems like such a lame excuse – or at least something one doesn’t want to admit.
    However, I am in Beijing and I can tell you that daily frustrations here just seem to exacerbate the problem.

    myx

    4 April 2006 at 3:54 pm


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