Thank you for Deliberating the Intent of the In Tense

There are few things more emotionally bruising than not being understood or feeling misjudged through the eyes of someone else’s presumptions.

A person’s intent is not always apparent in their actions.

Sometimes a person’s intent is not even apparent to them, let alone to anyone else.

There are so many unspoken rules to social interactions.

There are so many pitfalls that can send us reeling into hurt feelings, defensive postures, and deemed rejection or indignities.

A lot of minutes are wasted asking ourselves questions about what someone else meant or speculating on the intentions of others instead of using our out loud voice for clarification when we need it.

Why is it so hard to say “Can you explain what you mean by that?”

Why do we assume the intent of another as if we are supposed to know everything there is to know about the mechanics of their mind?

Granted, there are times when it is best to say nothing at all or to let verbal mishaps slip away into error and delete justification.

But other than a slip of the toungue or a forgivible brain fart, we are accountable for our interactions with other human beings—on both the giving and the recieving end.

The cruelest and most arrogant of contentious behaviors is passive aggressive.

To carry around a resentment over a perceived insult without deliberating on the intent with the presenter is like transporting an open jar of rattlesnake venom on a bumpy road.  It can’t really be contained. It’s gonna spill all over everybody.

I know some people don’t feel comfortable clarifying in a converstion.

It may feel too much like confrontation or look like ignorance.

Maybe some folks think it takes too much time to ask a question before they formulate an opinion or come to a conclusion.

I can’t know.

But I am thankful for those who ask questions when they don’t understand me, who deliberate on wether my words are deliberate or not.

Sometimes I get a little intense and stuck in the IN Tense but it does not always reveal my intent.

I am still working on my language development skills.

Thanks for listening, but thanks even more for speaking up if you don’t understand.

I need the practice.



~ by leakelley on May 18, 2016.

3 Responses to “Thank you for Deliberating the Intent of the In Tense”

  1. Oh – you touched on one of my raw nerves! I agree 1000% with every line here. What gets me is that overall, it seems that making those assumptions is more acceptable socially (certainly more common) than asking for clarification! I got caught between two overly defensive passive/aggressive men on one of the boards I am on and it was ME who ended up feeling like the bad guy because I asked for clarification and put an end to the drama! Some folks thrive on it, but for me, it sucks all the oxygen away.

  2. I am very grateful when people ask questions when they don’t understand. Nothing wrong with plenty of clarification!

  3. Passive aggressive behavior is a strategy for negotiating interpersonal territory. I suspect that every reasonably whole person that ever lived employed it in various interactions as a tool that either helped them survive those exchanges, end them, just avoid them or to evade revealing something feared to be either costly in some way to oneself, self-demeaning, or unnecessarily hurtful to others. Presuming & asking are two other social strategies. Presumptive statements tend to cause persons at whom they are aimed to defend themselves, often emotionally, & a lot can be learned from the nature of the defense & the feeling aroused. Presumptuousness is thus highly useful for getting something from others who if merely asked, “What did you mean by that?,” are accustomed to responding, “Oh, nothing.” I propose that asking straight questions is successful especially between people who over time work to earn a relationship in which each party regards straight answers, or when no straight answer is known regards mutual exploration of possible answers, as being safe, usually productive, & mutually gratifying. We might call this mature love. Such relationships are uncommon, & are a consequence not of one’s being truthful by nature, but of recognition of the virtue & labor necessary to acquire the craft & create such affection. ••• It must be added that if any one social strategy is used by a person in every or almost every situation, the strategy will be consciously or unconsciously perceived by others to be pathological. Everyone is in degree different from everyone else; therefore every situation between them is characterized by at least some differences, & thus responses appropriate to those difference must themselves differ. Variety, not the endless repetition of one drumbeat, one note, or one bzzzzz is the finest spice of our lives. We are not born with this knowledge. Those who know it must show themselves to us so we may directly experience its great virtue & automatically emulate it, not as a lesson taught, but as a way of being. Many people grow up in the absence of anyone who lives this way. And the consequence is dismal, saddening &, I believe, unnecessary in a sane society – which mankind has yet to achieve.

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