I know this is an old thread, but I do think it is a perennial issue so I feel justified necro-ing it
I was listening to some Don McLean recently and one song brought to mind this thread and I thought I'd share. This is related to the flip side of saying what you mean - having people ACTUALLY hear what you are saying. Relevant to RGJ's post above -
Song Lyrics: Empty Chairs (Don McLean)
Originally Posted by RainyGrlJenny
The connected pet peeve to this is that I do say what I mean, so freaking believe me when I say it!
... It's just frustrating to have every motive questioned when I'm such a straight-forward person.
..."And I wonder if you know
that I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did,
I never thought you would
I never thought the words you said were true
I never thought you said just what you meant
I never knew how much I needed you
I never thought you'd leave,
until you went.
We are witnessing the first divorce amongst our "couple-friends" (HS/college friends that got married around the same time that we did that we maintained friendships with - sharing birthdays, anniversaries, births of their children, etc.) (Mrs/MrClean if you are familiar with my blog).
As an outsider looking in - it seems, to me, that this was a fundamental problem in their relationship the whole time. Neither one really expected the other to be saying what they actually meant - so they were always acting/reacting to what they THOUGHT the other person meant...so when someone would actually TRY to say what they meant it was not believed. (There were other issues as well ... but they never really got addressed due to the communication issues.)
While re-reading this thread (to make sure my song lyrics were relevant
) another anecdote occurred to me in response to Marcus's post:
Originally Posted by Marcus
That's the other end of the conversation which I think is equally important; that we "might" get what we want. I have had the unfortunate pleasure of dating a person who really had no concept of getting a response other than the one they wanted. This is the difference between a question and an order. A question leaves the possibility of any number of responses and while I might be disappointed by the response I get... it was just a question so I need to suck it up...
Dude and I had a quasi-legitimate argument over something not significantly important, we were both cranky and irritable but no longer hashing it out. Not long after we were sitting on the couch in front of our computers and TV on (our usual quiet evening relaxing). Dude asked if he could lay his head on my lap (a common request). I said "No". Having his head on my lap while I am on the computer and he is trying to watch TV is awkward and slightly uncomfortable - which I was not willing to accommodate while I was still irked with him.
His response: "What!?!?!
Really?!?!?" He looked like I had just stepped on his kitten. Like, it was TOTALLY UNFATHOMABLE that anybody could deny that request. (Which triggered another round of the irritable/argumentativeness - "Are you just punishing me for not agreeing with you earlier?" "No, it's uncomfortable and I'm not feeling it right now...BESIDES, if the only acceptable answer to the question is 'yes
' then it is not really a question, is it?", etc.)
(PS. This has actually never happened again - that was over a year ago. Now he seems to only ask questions that he actually is willing to hear the answer to...)