Thursday, December 11, 2003

Insecure Telephone Lines

It would seem that the women in my family like to project their own insecurities into me. Either that or I am hateful, condescending, and just plain rude. My step-mother thinks I hate her so she interprets my overt disinterest in her constant myopic verbal spew as a manifestation of my hatred. My mother thinks I believe she is unintelligent so she interprets a curt response to her relentless questioning and second guessing of my problem solving process (I was fixing a problem she was having with her mouse) as an indication that I don't think she is capable of understanding what I am doing. In both cases I was accused of being rude. I presently lack the inner peace to not allow this to affect me and am emotionally forced into a defensive mode. I know my response does not help the situation. I know some of the things I do are some sort of passive-aggressive defense mechanism. That is how I do things though. If I don't like the way I am being treated I will give physical or tone of voice type indications to that effect. It is a reaction to a persons behavior, not an indication of my opinion of that person. I know the difference between a person's intentions and their actions. More trouble arises when my reaction is not only to the present behavior but to a pattern of behavior of which the present is a part. I guess this only happens when I suppress reactions over a period of time or my physical and tonal cues go unnoticed or are misinterpreted. The best answer I guess is to just come right out and be honest. It is tough to criticize behavior without criticizing character. They say you should avoid accusation and just point out how the specific behavior makes you feel. That requires self knowledge that sometimes doesn't come until after the fact. Plus there is the broken telephone consisting of the experience of emotion, the interpretation of the emotion, the expression of that emotion, the hearing of that expression, the interpretation of what was heard, and the emotional response to that interpretation. Life seems to be all about deciding which of those broken telephones is worth trying to fix. Why do we identify with our half of the communication channel? Why can we not see that the portion of human interaction that transmits via waves of light and pressure is a small portion of the full path from one soul to another? The medium of every message consists of at least two imperfect humans. We distort every message we send and also every message we receive, including the ones to and from ourselves. I'm going to try and increase the signal to noise ratio at my end, will you try and take a look at yours?

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