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  #31  
Old 08-12-2013, 06:12 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
This is just murky communication (on both sides). I'm glad you guys are working on that, otherwise it sounds like that would just keep giving you headaches.
I agree with you. Murky. Having said that, I kind of think that all communication involving humans is murky at best - even if one side of the conversation has perfect understanding, the humans murk it up.

To me, learning to understand a person well is the work of a lifetime. I'd be worried if my SO and I felt that we understood each other perfectly after 3 years together. To me, it would indicate that somebody was either lying deliberately or just misunderstanding and assuming that they did understand.

I hope we have many more years ahead of us to work on our ability to communicate with each other.

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UGH! I've had that argument before. It's that kind of drama that I don't want in my life; someone getting pissy because I didn't capitulate to their demand (if "no" is not an acceptable answer, it is a demand).
I know what you mean and for me, it isn't an exact thing but the bottom line is that I don't totally trust myself. Sometimes the people in my life are right to get pissy if I say "no" to them. Sometimes if I say "no" it's because I'm behaving like a total cunt and they are right to be in a rage with me.

Obviously, I don't apply that to everybody but there are people in my life who I feel I can ask if I'm being unreasonable. If I've changed, or am stressed and being horrible due to stress. Or if the situation is genuinely one where it's okay to say "no" and the other person just needs to deal with it.

Lots of the books I've read over the years have led me to doubt myself sufficiently that I want to know if I'm annoying people - in case it's me being a twat and not them.

Ben Goldacre writes lots about how scientists have to set up double blind randomised studies so that they don't know what's going on. Not because they would all deliberately cheat but because if they knew what was being tested they would subconsciously do things that would affect the validity of their results.

Bruce Lipton writes about how strongly our environment impacts on us and how helpless we are as individuals against that.

Malcolm Gladwell has written tons about how trusting instincts is really only something that experts in whatever field it is can do. The rest of us are as likely to be wrong as we are to be right.

Stanley Milgram and Phillip Zimbardo's experiments into how strongly people are controlled by those around them are compelling and kind of terrifying. I had nightmares when I was reading The Lucifer Effect.

My lack of trust in my own motivations and behaviours are what leads me to want feedback from others.

Plus - I have a preference for life to not be simple and easy. I get bored that way. I like challenges and that includes in personal relationships. Simple and easy isn't for me.
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  #32  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:58 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
... It's that kind of drama that I don't want in my life; someone getting pissy because I didn't capitulate to their demand (if "no" is not an acceptable answer, it is a demand).
This recalls to me an incident - Dude was being pissy about something and irritating me. At some point in the evening he asked if he could lay his head on my lap as I was sitting on the couch concentrating on the computer. I said "No". (It's hot and uncomfortable and I was still irritated with him enough that I wasn't willing to put up with that.) You would have thought that I slapped him . My response, "If I can't say 'no,' then it isn't really a question, is it?"

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
... Murky. Having said that, I kind of think that all communication involving humans is murky at best - even if one side of the conversation has perfect understanding, the humans murk it up.
Language, spoken OR non-verbal, is always limited and inexact. It's amazing to me that we manage to communicate at all.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
To me, learning to understand a person well is the work of a lifetime. I'd be worried if my SO and I felt that we understood each other perfectly after 3 years together. To me, it would indicate that somebody was either lying deliberately or just misunderstanding and assuming that they did understand.

I hope we have many more years ahead of us to work on our ability to communicate with each other.
I totally relate to this. To completely understand another person you would have to BE them... MrS and I communicate well and we still (after 20+ years) are learning more and more about each other as the years go by (and, hopefully, will have many more decades to practice this).

Dude sometimes looks at me like I have grown tentacles. "I don't understand you ... AT ALL." That's OK, honey. We have only been together for 2 years - we are just getting started in the "getting to know" each other business. Mere moments in time. A quick flash. If you could know/understand ALL of me in so short of a time? Well, then, I wouldn't be a very interesting person, would I?

JaneQ
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Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 08-12-2013 at 10:59 PM. Reason: punctuation
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  #33  
Old 08-13-2013, 05:40 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
My SO and I recently had a discussion about this which started on a car journey like this:

SO: Are you hungry?
IP: No. I ate lunch quite late because I knew we'd be travelling. Are you hungry?
SO: Yes. I could do with some food soon.

At the time, we were driving on a motorway and I knew from past discussions that my SO hates stopping at motorway service stations - I'd had lunch very late specifically so that I wouldn't need to stop and force him to go to one. I assumed that his conversation was an indication that we should stop as soon as possible after we'd gotten off the motorway and that's exactly what we did.

However, from my SO's point of view, the conversation was a direct request from him that we stop for food at one of the service stations on the motorway. He was very hungry and willing to put up with being in a service station if it meant he could eat.

When he asked me why I didn't stop, I pointed out that he hadn't actually asked me to stop. He felt very strongly that he had asked and that I should have known.

Interestingly, I know that my SO finds it hard to make direct requests of people because he doesn't like to be controlling. But I find that sort of communication incredibly controlling. Unless there is a reason not to be direct (like a language barrier), I find it preferable to know what it is that people actually want from me. I may or may not be able to or willing to do what it is that they want but I'd much rather know and I'd rather know if it is going to upset them if I don't do what they want.
Interesting example, and I can relate to this dynamic. You SO sounds similar to my husband that way. What's difficult for me to keep in mind is that any expression I make of what I might like will be taken as a demand. Placater that he is, I often find out after the fact that he's sacrificed his own wants for my own, merely because I happened to be the one to express them. That makes me uncomfortable and I feel like I'm unintentionally taking advantage of him. For his part, my husband finds it incredibly difficult to express desires or make requests, because for him they feel like demands.

I also find it interesting that your SO introduced the subject by asking if you were hungry, even though that was apparently irrelevant to whether or not he believed it was time to stop. That's also something my husband will do. He hopes that I am, so that he can stop for food under the pretext of stopping for me. I don't think they do it maliciously, I imagine the pretext is to themselves as much as to us.

In Husband's case, I'm pretty sure this is wrapped up in his mother issues. When she expressed desires, the WERE demands. No bones about it. She expected them to be carried out, STAT. His desires were considered inconsequential.

But he's made a lot of progress. I've at least gotten him to the point that when he does really really want something, he'll ask for it, at least eventually. First he hums and haws about whether it's worth the inconvenience to me, whether he can do without, whether he can get it a different way... And in cases where I've found out later that he had wanted something he didn't express, I make sure to emphasize that it would have been fine to tell me and if was within my powers, I probably wouldn't have minded.
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