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Monday, 16 April 2018

Reading between the lines


Do you ever struggle to understand what people mean or feel that you take things too literally? This is something I only recently came to fully grasp based on how I interact with others and how I sometimes mis-read situations. I am someone who is very straightforward and black-and-white; what you see is what you get. Yet adults (and I say adults because children are straightforward like me) tend to speak in some sort of code; they're very subtle, they don't say what they mean, or they may look a certain way but act another. It really messes with my head.

I wish everyone would just say what they mean. I don't understand lying, deceit, or manipulation. Of course I've lied plenty of times (and made up things for fun), but in the end I end up coming out, usually because I feel bad or guilty or I just don't see the point of not being truthful. Even when I used to try and hide my drinking; it wasn't long before I ended up spilling the beans. I'm not someone who understands the point of acting in ways that don't match your motivations. I think this is why I've been manipulated or taken advantage by others in my life, although obviously now I understand and can see it better.

I take things at face value. There's been many a time when I've upset or pissed off someone without intending to and have come across as tactless or emotionally insensitive. (Very ironic, considering I'm a very overly sensitive person and have a lot of empathy for others). In these instances I haven't been cruel or abusive; there have been times when I have taken out my anger on someone or explicitly acted like a 'bitchy drama queen.' But in those times I can clearly see what happened; I acted like an arsehole, the person got angry or upset, and I apologised. It's times when I might say or do something wrong without realising, that I then see the other person get frustrated and I end up really confused because I don't get what I did.

I guess men are more straightforward than women, which explains why I get along with/understand guys better. Girls are much more likely to play 'games' and say stuff they don't mean. I always got severely confused growing up when girls who were slim or curvy would complain about how fat they were. I couldn't understand if they were being serious or not; obviously some girls may genuinely have an eating disorder and see themselves as like the sad picture below, but a lot of the times I think girls just say that for attention and sympathy. Or they post a picture of them on Facebook looking beautiful and go 'eurgh, I'm sooo ugly'. Why? I don't get it. I've found myself - especially in the last couple years when I've put on some weight - looking in the mirror and thinking I'm fat, trying to imitate other girls without meaning to. I know I'm far from fat; I have curves and I'm not skinny, but I'm certainly not anywhere near over-weight.

I wish I could understand why people pretend or play mind games or say things they don't mean. I'm ironically good at reading people emotionally; I can usually tell if someone's angry, sad, insecure etc, which makes it all the more frustrating when I see someone is in a bad mood and they go 'I'm fine, just drop it.' (It may sound hypocritical because I've probably behaved like that myself loads of times, but I think that's more me imitating the behaviour of others subconsciously as I would really like to say 'I'm upset.') I tend to take it very personally when someone is upset or angry around me, even if it's nothing to do with me, and that makes me more concerned and makes me run after the person which makes them even angrier. If they could just say 'I'm upset/angry, I need some space' I would respect that. But why say you're fine if you're not?

Image result for lie vs honest
Maybe part of it is to do with society trying to condition people not to show their emotions. I'm very overt with my feelings - again, sometimes it can come across as over-the-top or lacking boundaries but that's just because I tend to act literally how I feel, especially as I've gotten more comfortable with myself as a young adult. Lots of people can just be getting on in a certain way and you have no idea if they're fine or not because they don't say so, and then they get all snappy as if you're supposed to read their minds. Like that classic case in movies - the woman is angry and the man is expected to run after her. What the fuck? If you're angry wouldn't you rather be left alone? Why this cognitive dissonance?

Anyway. Do you think things would be better if we were just honest and upfront rather than saying something and expecting the other person to 'just get what they really meant'?

Related posts:

https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2018/02/secrets.html

https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/11/do-you-have-healthy-boundaries.html

2 comments:

  1. I can only talk for myself...i would like to prefer honest and upfront altough i am a sensitive person, i would appreciate. Maybe it come off as direct or maybe insensitive...and maybe it would end up in an argument until i see the issue (self-reflecting)...at least you know where you stand with that person. It's strange bc'z sometimes i want people to read my mind to but it's more in case of feelings, when i'm upset i don't hide it and get direct (maybe that's when people say i hurt them) honestly i would prefer no mind games and i'm old enough to handle when one tell me what i did wrong or what's the problem ä

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