Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
I normally always initiate interactions in a positive way because I am friendly
Similarly, if I am engaged in a friendly manner I respond in kind. The problem with perception is that it can be wrong.
BUT...If I am engaged in a way I perceive as aggressive, judgemental or passive aggressive I also have a tendency to reflect that. We all know I can be passive aggressive.
The other thing is that I am trained in many areas of conflict to respond a certain way. I am trained to use a higher level of force to ensure the aggression ceases; my response is to hit harder than I am hit, so to speak. I don't go on the defensive to withstand a threat; I go on the offensive to end the threat. This is perfectly fine in some areas of life but does not translate well in others especially when the "threat" is not one that can cause real damage.
I completely understand and empathize with this situation and the issues it causes, Mono. I often do the same thing... I don't stop and think "was that intended as an attack", I just run with my first impression/assumption and counter-attack. I'm working on addressing that as well, so at least you know you're not alone in this
Keep your chin up, sir. We're men - we CAN be trained, if the woman (women in my case) has enough patience!!