...Don't you just love it when blatant misconceptions of what you're saying run rampant, especially at this time of year? Someone says something, someone understands it to be something else, then another someone jumps in to say something and the whole thing turns into a great big mess.
Yes, I know it happens even more prevalently in February, but considering I like to believe that February doesn't exist anymore, and the holiday season usually pushes everyone to the breaking limits, this is relevant now. And no, nothing in particular is going on that's prompting me to discuss this, it's just been on my mind.
Know what's only slightly more fun? When you try to help someone and you don't quite get it through your head that they must not want help because they put words in your mouth that aren't there and get the idea that you're attacking them. I *love* that. Really.
Yes, that's sarcasm dripping from my lips in case you didn't catch it.
Now, I know I write things in a tone that's easy to misconstrue, but I write the way I speak a lot of the time, and the tone of my voice is easy to mistake in one direction or another. I've been accused of making fun of people when I'm really kidding about something. I've been accused of being pissed off, when really I'm not. It's happened to all of us at one time or another. I've even been accused of backpedaling on things when all I've been doing is recognizing that someone else's opinion on something is perfectly valid.
It's all about the perception of how the comment is taken and what tone of voice you assign to it. Saying that something isn't my style doesn't mean I equivocally hate it. It could mean simply that while I like it, it's not my style. Or it could mean that I hate it and I'm being politically correct so as not to offend those that do like it.
It's all in the perception you have of someone's opinion and tone of voice. And what you think of them. See, that's another trigger - how much of how you interpret what someone has to say is colored by what you think of them as a person? If you don't respect someone, then wouldn't you take what they have to say with a grain of salt, or less? Or you'd be very skeptical of what they have to say.
On the other hand, there are those people that you love and respect highly. Everything they have to say is colored by that, and you're more willing to believe something they have to say. I'm not saying that we're all sheeple, just that our perceptions are also colored by our opinions.
There's also a lot of weight in how we interpret comments based on the stress levels in our own lives. And with the holidays, or any other time of year where many things are expected of us all at once, it's really easy to read something into a comment that doesn't have any meat to it in the first place.
So, in this holiday season, we must remember to temper ourselves when discussing things because the stresses of the holidays are certainly going to figure in how we convey certain things, and how we interpret others....
...if only the rest of the world did that - then there might be a shot at peace on earth.