QUOTE: “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. “ ~ Robert McCloskey, writer
SONG: Please don’t let me be misunderstood (Duet on The Voice UK)
ADULT Confusion (cont.)
1. Confusing Ourselves – Parts 3a & b
2. Confusing OTHERS
REMEMBER: ‘Message sent is not always message received’.
Depending on how important it is to you to be understood, AND who you’re talking to – you may need to double check whether or not they hear you correctly, or have instead formed their own incorrect or distorted interpretation.
Un-recovered wounded people tend to filter what they hear, as a Projection, which colors input from others, especially if it’s scary to their CHILD (WIC) or criticized by their INTROJECT (PP).
Some ACoAs suffer from ADD &/or dyslexia – so some of these distortions come from ‘disabilities’ which can be corrected with meds, proper nutrition / vitamins, brain re-patterning….
BUT most often our limited / distorted ways of communicating are mental habits we developed as kids, learned from our family, school, religion…., & still used now. (See posts “How ACoAs abandon others”).
They help us to not notice or own what we think & feel, AND keep others at arm’s length. We Confuse others BY:
• assuming the other person knows what you’re talking about, when they don’t know the bigger picture, or you didn’t provide enough details
• assuming you’ve actually told a person -out loud- something you’ve been thinking or obsessing about, but never did (often a plan or desire)
• never asking directly for what you want or need, instead drop hints & expect others to read your mind
EMOTIONAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL
• pretending you’re not upset about something but then it comes out sideways (P-A)
• by angry silences, instead of talking things thru with “I’ statements
• always shifting the focus on to yourself when someone tells you anything about themselves or just makes a comment about something
A: “I did really well on that test today”
B: “I never do well on tests” – INSTEAD of acknowledging or praising THEM
• always asking what someone else wants, never stating a preference (what are you having for dinner / what should I wear today / where do you want to go?)
• answering a question with a question
• compulsive talking, so no one else has room to participate
• verbally jumping from thought to thought, with no logical sequence
• jumping into a topic mid-thought, leaving out the ‘first half’ (not identifying what you’re talking about, or what are you wanting)
• not bridging into a subject, so there’s no context
• mainly talking in clichés, to avoid directly saying what you think or feel
• giving too much info at one time, without checking if others are following
• never making declarative statements – as in: “I don’t feel I can trust them (which is a thought, not an emotion), instead of “I know they’re not trustworthy”
• responding to a comment in a way that has nothing to do with what was said, as a diversion
• only talking about facts or action, or what everyone else is doing (acquaintances, politics, sports, work….), but never anything personal / ‘real’
• rarely if ever finishing your sentences, so you can’t be held accountable
• ranting at someone (verbal attacks) without being honest about the real issue
• repeating the same opinion, information, or story over & over, even using the same words every time
3. OTHERS confusing US
In dealing with other people, the #1 rule is: “If you walk away confused, they are confusing”. Do not assume it’s you!
a. IGNORE Emotions: when we’re talking about an emotional situation, & the other person responds with an action suggestion, thinking they’re being helpful:
Comment: “My apartment recently burned down, & I was there at the time. Especially painful was the loss of 2,000 books & my 2 cats!”
Some Responses: “Get new cats right away” // “So what did you learn from the experience?” // “Well, at least you’re alive!” // Laughter …. UGH!
NEXT – Confusion #3d