the process of understanding other people sometimes isn't always as obvious as it seems and sometimes we--that's the rhetorical we and not anybody in particular--are more controlling than we realize we are.
Yes, this had me nodding in particular.
My first two long-term girlfriends were, well, let's say, a lot like me in superficial ways. They were quite different in temperament, and deep inside we turned out maybe not to have as much in common as we first would have thought. But a lot of the day-to-day stuff was just a self-evident consensus.
My third long-term girlfriend was from a different country, a different social background. She had a lot of issues, which in turn turned out to trigger plenty of my own that had been submerged. There were a lot of ... difficulties, of various kind, some acute and some more pedestrian, some to do with long-seated emotional trauma and some with just different ways or basic principles of life we were accustomed to.
Over time I learned to very clearly and definitely stake out my personal borders: x or y is something I just do not tolerate well, and if it occurs I will not be available for sharing + communicating. Drunkenship, for example, at least outside the occasional big party. But the process of staking out those limits also involved discovering and surrendering a whole lot of other, minor "limits", things that I turned out to instinctively disapprove of or at least have a negative emotional reaction to, but in the end turned out to just be different ways of dealing with situations or acting in them. With drawbacks that were immediately obvious to me, but counterbalancing advantages that it took a little effort to not just acknowledge but also respect (if you know what I mean with that difference).
There's still a lot of things that make me go - well - I wouldn't do it that way, doesn't seem smart - but then, you know - she did
get x or y or z doing what she does the way she does it that I sure don't have, so ...
Basically, yes - we are
more controlling than we realize we are ... and yes, I think that holds for almost all of us, at least that's what I discern. Way I see it, it's just up to ourselves to choose whether to be aware of it (or become more aware of it than we already might be) and check ourselves more; or, on the other end of the spectrum, to say - well, that's me, I say what I think, people can rely on me for always speaking my mind, and that's part of who I
am, so in turn something that others who care for me will just have to deal with.
Wait - actually, that's not quite all the way on the other hand of the spectrum. Because it still involves at least an awareness that yes, the "plainspokenness" (or, in someone else's eye, "judgemental rudeness") is something of a quirk of one's own and might well come across the wrong way. It's just that you know that, well, that's who you are and you hope people will accept that the way you'll accept some of their quirks. The real other end of the spectrum would be something different still, I guess: not even being aware of it also just being one way of dealing with things, and considering it simply "the right way" of responding to things, and people who take it the wrong way to be "whining" etc.