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Relationships and Nature of Conflict: "Please Understand Me"

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:50 pm
@Montana,
Pretty good. Tired. I've been a nightowl all my lifetoo--my fantasy football and hockey teams are the Nightowls and my regular email persona has an Owl in it too. Smile Going to try to sleep though because I am able to do a lot of my work at night and do, but appointments with other folks have to be during the day for some reason. I just think it is entirely unreasonable for people to want to do business between 9 and 5 instead of midnight, but that's just me.
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:53 pm
@Foxfyre,
Laughing I hear ya. What up with that?

Sweet dreams Fox Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:00 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
No what I am doing is very different. I am providing information that people can choose to accept or not.


So were the people you posted the text to. You see it as different but they may not. And that's why these simplistic maxims don't work well with life.

Quote:
It may be right for them or not, but I do not presume to choose what is or is not right for them. I provide my perspective but leave it to them to accept it or not.


The people you posted it to can say the same.

Quote:
There is a very big difference between providing information/advice/instruction and in advising the other person that he/she is naive, immature, stupid, stubborn, gullible, vulnerable, too soft hearted or whatever because s/he sees it differently or does not respond in the manner we would have him/her respond.


This is a matter of degree, and not a matter of judgmental versus understanding.

Quote:
This is to say that what I tell you I believe to be right for me. I leave it to the others to decide if it is right for them.


And this disclaimer fits anyone else you were criticizing. They were saying what they believe was right for them, and leaving it to others to decide if it's right for them.

It's just a matter of how far they'll go to make the point and how the recipient takes it.

They can do nothing more than offer their opinion only to have the recipient think take great insult or they can even be thoroughly patronizing and have the recipient appreciate it.

It's interpretation and degree, it's just not a matter of method a and method b. Someone could take your exhortation personally and consider you to be trying to impose the way you think on them too.

Quote:
The whole object is to be able to learn to communicate and even disagree non judgmentally.


This is just more neutral wording of the same thing, this could have all been started by someone saying "the whole objective is to learn to be sufficiently discriminating" if someone is willing to be insulted by it.

Quote:
Once we can do that, we have the ability to understand and even appreciate that the way the other person is is right for him/her. You are informing. That is valid. You are not requiring or asking the other person to change anything at all.


And this is what I think is wrong about all of this. The problem isn't asking someone to change. Watch:

Person A talks loudly.

1) Person B says: "When you talk loudly it really distracts me, I don't mean to offend you but would you mind changing the volume a bit?"

2) Person B says: "Dear God you are f**king noisy!"

In situation 1, the person is asking Person A to change. In situation 2, the person is just making a personal observation and "leav[ing] it to the others to decide if it is right for them".

The problem is insult and offense and the thresholds just aren't the same for everyone.

Quote:
LOL. Well I suppose that is one way of looking at it but again the object is honestly not to change people but to inform people and explain the benefits the information can provide them.


And here's where the whole thing breaks down. It doesn't only matter what the intention is. Intent can be markedly different from effect.

Your "honesty" objective might be interpreted as inordinately critical even if you don't have the objective to change someone.

Quote:
I hope that the information is useful to those who receive it, but I dont' tell anybody how to utilize it.


A lot of the offense taken in the situation that provoked this thread didn't have any explicit instructions on how to take it either, and sometimes it was merely characterization that was objected to.

They could have just negatively characterized without any objective to change anyone and caused the exact same offense.

Quote:
Is it possible to hope that something is useful to others without an intention to change them?


Sure, and it's possible for something to be useful and non-offensive so someone even if that is your intention.

I've been very pedantic with you here, because I really agree with the general thrust of what you are saying. My last signature was "Why so judgmental a2k?" because I was taken back by how quick people were to lord over others and condescend when they came here with personal questions.

So I really do get it, I'm just saying that it's a poetic piece that doesn't really capture what the problem is. Trying to change someone isn't inherently bad, and understanding and accepting them is not inherently good.

But with the end goal of not being an ass to others and offending them I agree with you, and find understanding and acceptance often more useful than judgment and criticism.

I'm just arguing that it's not the desire to change people or the lack of acceptance of how they think that's the problem, it's the resulting offense and hurt. So the intent of changing or not changing a person is irrelevant to me as much as the intent of offending or not and the reasonably-preventable effect of offending.

Basically it boils down to this to me, were the actions intentionally offensive or negligent to predictable offense in effect? Then they were not ideal.

Whether the aim was to change the person or not just isn't a factor, though I'll admit that the personalities hell-bent on changing others tend to offend and tend not to be as conscious of their offensive effect.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:43 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Foxfyre wrote:
No what I am doing is very different. I am providing information that people can choose to accept or not.


So were the people you posted the text to. You see it as different but they may not. And that's why these simplistic maxims don't work well with life.


I disagree. I posted the information after observing members judging another member who saw something, felt something, perceived something differently than they were perceiving it. They were judging her in a most insulting manner that was probably well intentioned at least on the part of some but that made it no less insulting.

The Kiersey excerpt I posted provided information with no requirement or expectation of any kind that anybody accept it or process it effectively. It was intended to be useful. It included my hope that others would find it useful, but it included no demand that they do so and no criticism if they did not.

My own comments certainly did include critical observation, but that was my own doing apart from Kiersey materials.

Quote:
Quote:
It may be right for them or not, but I do not presume to choose what is or is not right for them. I provide my perspective but leave it to them to accept it or not.


The people you posted it to can say the same.


No because they already assigned insulting opinions re their subject and declared their subject lacking in their design for what how they thought that person should be.

Quote:
Quote:
There is a very big difference between providing information/advice/instruction and in advising the other person that he/she is naive, immature, stupid, stubborn, gullible, vulnerable, too soft hearted or whatever because s/he sees it differently or does not respond in the manner we would have him/her respond.


This is a matter of degree, and not a matter of judgmental versus understanding.


I disagree. When you advise another that they are guilty of such unattractive qualities, it is a judgment of that person. The Kiersey model specifically avoids assigning such judgments.

Quote:
Quote:
This is to say that what I tell you I believe to be right for me. I leave it to the others to decide if it is right for them.


And this disclaimer fits anyone else you were criticizing. They were saying what they believe was right for them, and leaving it to others to decide if it's right for them.

It's just a matter of how far they'll go to make the point and how the recipient takes it.


Quote:
Sure (assuming that I understand you point here. I'm not certain that I do. though.) You can tell me I'm an idiot and its up to me to decide if I am an idiot or not. But if you tell me that I must feel a certain way about thus and so or that I need to understand as you understand or respond as you think I should respond or else I'm an idiot, you are trying to change me.

They can do nothing more than offer their opinion only to have the recipient think take great insult or they can even be thoroughly patronizing and have the recipient appreciate it.

It's interpretation and degree, it's just not a matter of method a and method b. Someone could take your exhortation personally and consider you to be trying to impose the way you think on them too.


But the exercise is not based on whether or not another understands instruction or accepts an opinion as valid or whether they are insulted or not. The exercise is to help people differentiate between controlling behavior and allowing the other person to own their own different beliefs, emotions, and thoughts and perhaps even come to appreciate the value in those differences.

Quote:
Quote:
The whole object is to be able to learn to communicate and even disagree non judgmentally.


This is just more neutral wording of the same thing, this could have all been started by someone saying "the whole objective is to learn to be sufficiently discriminating" if someone is willing to be insulted by it.


Yes and it was in response to your same comment worded in a different way.

Quote:
Quote:
Once we can do that, we have the ability to understand and even appreciate that the way the other person is is right for him/her. You are informing. That is valid. You are not requiring or asking the other person to change anything at all.


And this is what I think is wrong about all of this. The problem isn't asking someone to change. Watch:

Person A talks loudly.

1) Person B says: "When you talk loudly it really distracts me, I don't mean to offend you but would you mind changing the volume a bit?"

2) Person B says: "Dear God you are f**king noisy!"

In situation 1, the person is asking Person A to change. In situation 2, the person is just making a personal observation and "leav[ing] it to the others to decide if it is right for them".

The problem is insult and offense and the thresholds just aren't the same for everyone.

Quote:
LOL. Well I suppose that is one way of looking at it but again the object is honestly not to change people but to inform people and explain the benefits the information can provide them.


And here's where the whole thing breaks down. It doesn't only matter what the intention is. Intent can be markedly different from effect.

Your "honesty" objective might be interpreted as inordinately critical even if you don't have the objective to change someone.

Quote:
I hope that the information is useful to those who receive it, but I dont' tell anybody how to utilize it.


A lot of the offense taken in the situation that provoked this thread didn't have any explicit instructions on how to take it either, and sometimes it was merely characterization that was objected to.

They could have just negatively characterized without any objective to change anyone and caused the exact same offense.

Quote:
Is it possible to hope that something is useful to others without an intention to change them?


Sure, and it's possible for something to be useful and non-offensive so someone even if that is your intention.

I've been very pedantic with you here, because I really agree with the general thrust of what you are saying. My last signature was "Why so judgmental a2k?" because I was taken back by how quick people were to lord over others and condescend when they came here with personal questions.

So I really do get it, I'm just saying that it's a poetic piece that doesn't really capture what the problem is. Trying to change someone isn't inherently bad, and understanding and accepting them is not inherently good.

But with the end goal of not being an ass to others and offending them I agree with you, and find understanding and acceptance often more useful than judgment and criticism.

I'm just arguing that it's not the desire to change people or the lack of acceptance of how they think that's the problem, it's the resulting offense and hurt. So the intent of changing or not changing a person is irrelevant to me as much as the intent of offending or not and the reasonably-preventable effect of offending.

Basically it boils down to this to me, were the actions intentionally offensive or negligent to predictable offense in effect? Then they were not ideal.

Whether the aim was to change the person or not just isn't a factor, though I'll admit that the personalities hell-bent on changing others tend to offend and tend not to be as conscious of their offensive effect.


In your example you are telling the person that the noise they are making is distracting or irritating to you. You are asking them to change their behavior because it is annoying to you. You aren't asking them to change how they react or respond to the noise. This is not controlling. This is explaining how another's actions affect you and your need for quiet.

If, however, you inform the person that they are strange or improper or wrong or stupid or immature or ignorant or any other unattractive adjective you wish to attach to them because they aren't bothered by the noise or don't appreciate how much it bothers you or don't understand why it irritates you, etc., then you have strayed into abuse and/or you are exhibiting controlling behavior by trying to change somebody into a carbon copy of you on that particular point.

But hey this probably isn't everybody's cup of tea. Like I said prevously, I've never done a workshop with any group over 30 years in which the participants were not fully engaged and at least said they were appreciative. Many have signed up for more workshops. But maybe the kind of people that are interested in this kind of thing are those who are more receptive to it. I don't know.

I personally find it to be pretty valuable. You might not. We very well may march to different drummers there and in many other ways and we very well may share the same drummer every now and then.

(P.S. the opening lines in the preface are just to explain the phenomenon that is addressed in the whole exercise/course and to suggest a goal to strive for. There's quite a bit more to it to actually get there.)

You know for somebody I used to think was a really snotty tight ass, I've come to appreciate you a lot. I hope you take that in the affectionate spirit it is intended. Smile
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:17 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
I disagree. I posted the information after observing members judging another member who saw something, felt something, perceived something differently than they were perceiving it. They were judging her in a most insulting manner that was probably well intentioned at least on the part of some but that made it no less insulting.


But this too is a matter of perception. I, for one, didn't find it nearly as insulting as some of the reactions. And like I said, it's the same thing. You say:

"I posted the information after observing members judging another member who saw something, felt something, perceived something differently than they were perceiving it."

And in doing so, you provided implicit judgment to those who did not perceive their behavior to be insulting. In doing so you forwarded your perception of it as insulting.

Quote:
The Kiersey excerpt I posted provided information with no requirement or expectation of any kind that anybody accept it or process it effectively. It was intended to be useful. It included my hope that others would find it useful, but it included no demand that they do so and no criticism if they did not.


Actually, yes it does. The whole narrative is imploring the reader to change their ways by not wanting to change the speaker's ways. But set that aside and see if this explanation works:

What is wrong with trying to change people other than the fact that it can offend them? If they were invariably not offended by it what would the problem be?

The problem isn't trying to change people, it's about offending people. The text may be a useful way to arrive at the goal of not offending people necessarily but the underlying logic is self-contradictory by wanting to change the meddlers and by not first understanding and then accepting their position.

Quote:
No because they already assigned insulting opinions re their subject and declared their subject lacking in their design for what how they thought that person should be.


"Insulting" is a matter of perspective just as "naive" and "gullible" is and can be just as insulting to boot.

Quote:
I disagree. When you advise another that they are guilty of such unattractive qualities, it is a judgment of that person. The Kiersey model specifically avoids assigning such judgments.


And how is it not a judgment of the people who have the unattractive quality of wanting to change others? How is it not contingent on whether or not you accept the same degree of weight to the "judgments".

It's a two-way street. Just as one can be more understanding to an individual who places more emotional weight on terms like "soft-hearted" etc the individual taking offense can show more understanding to those who don't.

Quote:
Sure (assuming that I understand you point here. I'm not certain that I do. though.) You can tell me I'm an idiot and its up to me to decide if I am an idiot or not. But if you tell me that I must feel a certain way about thus and so or that I need to understand as you understand or respond as you think I should respond or else I'm an idiot, you are trying to change me.


Yes, my point was that wanting to change you isn't the problem, it's the offense caused or the offense taken. If I were to say:

"Gee Fox, I'd love it if you were more liberal, you should change!"

It may not be nearly as offensive to you if I were to say:

"You are the dumbest person I know."

Even if I have no desire to change you in the second sentence it can be far more offensive, and my point was that the desire to change people is not the inherent problem.

Quote:
But the exercise is not based on whether or not another understands instruction or accepts an opinion as valid or whether they are insulted or not. The exercise is to help people differentiate between controlling behavior and allowing the other person to own their own different beliefs, emotions, and thoughts and perhaps even come to appreciate the value in those differences.


People differ on what the appropriate degree of controlling behavior is though. Nobody here wants to advocate either extreme, so it's all contingent on the interpretation of degrees that the passage does nothing to resolve.

The passage assumes controlling behavior is not good, and seeks to forward that perspective. And doing so is not functionally different from the perspectives being forwarded that were objected to.

If the passage took its own advice, it would seek to understand then accept the controlling behavior instead of forwarding its own point of view.

Quote:
In your example you are telling the person that the noise they are making is distracting or irritating to you. You are asking them to change their behavior because it is annoying to you. Your aren't asking them to change how they react or respond to the noise. This is not controlling. This is explaining how another's actions affect you and your need for quiet.


Anything can be rationalized that way though. Others could have said that they were merely explaining how the behavior caused them personal concern.

Quote:
If, however, you inform the person that they are strange or improper or wrong or stupid or immature or ignorant or any other unattractive adjective you wish to attach to them because they aren't bothered by the noise or don't appreciate how much it bothers you or don't understand why it irritates you, etc., then you have strayed into abuse and/or you are exhibiting controlling behavior by trying to change somebody into a carbon copy of you on that particular point.


No, the problem is the offense, whether or not they want a carbon copy really has nothing to do with it. Nobody wanted Montana to be a carbon copy of them, but their perspective was offending her and being taken as abuse.

Montana and others can rationalize her offense by saying it's because she didn't want others to try to make her a carbon copy of them, but that's just plain not true. She didn't want them to characterize her as "naive" or "gullible" regardless of intent.

She would have been offended if they'd characterized her as "naive" or "gullible" even without wanting her to change a thing, the reason is because she objects to being called "naive" and "gullible" period.

So it's still just a matter of personal perspective and interpretation as to whether that was appropriate or not. Greater understanding and acceptance would likely have caused just as much offense as long as the perspective included an evaluation of naivete and the expression of thereof, and the real question here is not whether they should have been more understanding or not want to change her, but whether they should have called her those words and whether she should have been offended by them. And that is a question it can't answer.

Quote:
But hey this probably isn't everybody's cup of tea. Like I said prevously, I've never done a workshop with any group over 30 years in which the participants were not fully engaged and at least said they were appreciative.


I think the passage is a very useful starting point to a discussion, but a poor maxim. There are two sides, it's a give and take, and in matters of offense there are different degrees, different interpretations and different judgements on what is or is not appropriate.

This is one side of the story, and if it takes it's own advice it should strive to understand and accommodate the other.

Quote:
You know for somebody I used to think was a really snotty, tight ass, I've come to appreciate you a lot. I hope you take that in the spirit it is intended. Smile


I have no idea how it was intended, but I'm not going to take offense.

However, just in case you were trying to offend I will leave the ultimate insult to you to be read only in that precise scenario:

"You should change!"
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 05:20 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

No, the problem is the offense, whether or not they want a carbon copy really has nothing to do with it. Nobody wanted Montana to be a carbon copy of them, but their perspective was offending her and being taken as abuse.


I agree that no one wanted a carbon copy of me, but at the same time, I was getting constant pressure to see things their way. When I refused to see things their way, some started saying things like "she's vulnerable", "she's emotional", etc..., which is their way of justifying why I couldn't possibly see what they were seeing, and in turn I was offended. It was very hurtful to see people who I've considered friends for a lot of years now, talk about me and to me like I was some mindless airhead.
The other issue is that everything quickly went from concern to harsh comments, to outright trying to control by creating constant interference in something I asked them very kindly not to interfere in.
I interference was so great that it was impossible for me to continue the conversation with the person I was trying to talk with.
I responded to everyone individually because I would never throw everyone in the same pot, knowing not everyone responded and thought the same. I was very careful how I responded to people because I didn't want to offend anyone who hadn't offended me.
Sorry about the long winded post, but this is more complicated than just being offended by a few words.

Robert Gentel wrote:
Montana and others can rationalize her offense by saying it's because she didn't want others to try to make her a carbon copy of them, but that's just plain not true. She didn't want them to characterize her as "naive" or "gullible" regardless of intent.


No, I didn't say others wanted to make me a carbon copy of them. I did say, however, that they pressured me into seeing things their way.
The "naive" and "gullible" come from only 2 members who have endlessly thrown the words in my face over the past several years, even after I expessed to them several times that it makes my skin crawl when anyone refers to me using those words. These words are conescending, patronizing and demeaning in my world, yet after expressing that to them, they continue to throw them at me even more than they did before.
These are people who claim to care about me and in the same breath, call me the very things they know make my blood boil, over and over again. I'd hate to see how they treat people they don't care about. It's down right abusive.
So, that covers the "gullible", "naive" thing.

Robert Gentel wrote:
She would have been offended if they'd characterized her as "naive" or "gullible" even without wanting her to change a thing, the reason is because she objects to being called "naive" and "gullible" period.


Yup, that's right, however, I wouldn't have been nearly as offended if I knew they were not aware of my feelings about the 2 said miserable words.

Robert Gentel wrote:
So it's still just a matter of personal perspective and interpretation as to whether that was appropriate or not. Greater understanding and acceptance would likely have caused just as much offense as long as the perspective included an evaluation of naivete and the expression of thereof, and the real question here is not whether they should have been more understanding or not want to change her, but whether they should have called her those words and whether she should have been offended by them. And that is a question it can't answer.


I pretty much covered everything earlier, but the situation is much more complicated than just those words, as I'm sure you can see.
I didn't spend the last 3 days (starting day 4) here every waking moment going on about just that.
I feel I've lost some friends in all this, but if that's the case, they were obviously never my friends to begin with. Sad, but true and life goes on.

It's been really nice seeing you out here a lot these days Robert. It's about time, eh Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 06:08 am
I'd also like to add that in all my 45 years in this world, I have never, not once, ever met anyone who wasn't offended after being called either "gullible" or "naive". Just sayin.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:39 am
As the person who started (or redirected this thread away from the original FOW thread for discussion), I just want to frame what's left of this discussion. The title says "Please Understand Me". Note that it does NOT say, "Please Change Me". Intent and method are the keywords and IMHO make all the difference.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:35 am
In my opinion, all should pause and take note of Ragman's observation here.

RG Writes
Quote:
But this too is a matter of perception. I, for one, didn't find it nearly as insulting as some of the reactions. And like I said, it's the same thing. You say:

"I posted the information after observing members judging another member who saw something, felt something, perceived something differently than they were perceiving it."

And in doing so, you provided implicit judgment to those who did not perceive their behavior to be insulting. In doing so you forwarded your perception of it as insulting.


I perceived it as insulting because I felt that it was insulting. Also the subject of the judgment stated that she was insulted. I did not ask the others to change their opinions/feelings. I was suggesting, through my comments, that they change their behavior re the subject of their criticism.

Quote:
The whole narrative is imploring the reader to change their ways by not wanting to change the speaker's ways. But set that aside and see if this explanation works:

What is wrong with trying to change people other than the fact that it can offend them? If they were invariably not offended by it what would the problem be?

The problem isn't trying to change people, it's about offending people. The text may be a useful way to arrive at the goal of not offending people necessarily but the underlying logic is self-contradictory by wanting to change the meddlers and by not first understanding and then accepting their position.


Kiersey is not dealing with changing people's behavior. Kiersey is dealing with the effect of attempting to require somebody else to feel more or less strongly or see it as you see it in a given situation in order for that other person to be acceptable to you.

The plea for understanding is a plea to not so quickly judge somebody through our own perceptions and emotions but rather allow the other person their own perceptions and emotions. It is to resist making assumptions about the other person purely based on the fact that the other person perceives and feels differently than we do. The only ‘change’ involved is a request - not requirement in order to be acceptable, but a request - for understanding.

So I can appreciate that you see that helping people understand others can include a motive of wanting people to change in order to be able to do that. Perhaps you can appreciate that I see it as providing information/tools to people so that they are better able to choose to understand or not and that I see that as different than attempting to change people. Neither of us have to be wrong.

Quote:
"Insulting" is a matter of perspective just as "naive" and "gullible" is and can be just as insulting to boot.


Yes, but understanding requires appreciation for the fact that a person is insulted when the person tells you that s/he is insulted. Kiersey appreciates that one person will be insulted and another not insulted in a given situation and neither needs to be branded evil. It breaks down when A requires B to see it as A sees it in order to be acceptable.

Quote:
And how is it not a judgment of the people who have the unattractive quality of wanting to change others? How is it not contingent on whether or not you accept the same degree of weight to the "judgments".

It's a two-way street. Just as one can be more understanding to an individual who places more emotional weight on terms like "soft-hearted" etc the individual taking offense can show more understanding to those who don't.


Judging people for having the unattractive quality of changing others is a different issue than what Kiersey attempts to help us see. If we can accept that if one way is right for A and another way is right for B so that both can be right, then we have achieved a degree of harmony in a relationship. If you are soft hearted and I am hard nosed in any given situation niether of us has to be evil. We can disagree or disagree on the appropriate action to be taken, but if we employ Kiersey’s process, I will not judge you as wrong because you are not tougher and you will not judge me as wrong because I am not more gentle. We are more likely to arrive at the best compromise if we allow each other our own emotions and feelings.

One person loves flowers and thinks they make the environment more aesthetically comfortable and pleasing. Another is conscious of the expense and water usage and wants available funds directed to something more practical. Both can be absolutely right and a reasonable compromise is more likely to be achieved if each appreciates the others’ wants and needs.


Quote:
, , , ,my point was that wanting to change you isn't the problem, it's the offense caused or the offense taken. If I were to say:

"Gee Fox, I'd love it if you were more liberal, you should change!"

It may not be nearly as offensive to you if I were to say:

"You are the dumbest person I know."

Even if I have no desire to change you in the second sentence it can be far more offensive, and my point was that the desire to change people is not the inherent problem
.

Agreed that insulting for one’s own satisfaction is not necessarily an attempt to change them. In fact, I suspect some people want the other people to continue to behave offensively to justify the abuse and contempt that is heaped upon them. That's a whole different thing than what I am referring to here though.


There is a world of difference between saying that you see conservatism as an unacceptable ideology and telling me that I need to change my ideology in order to be acceptable to you.

If you tell me I am dumb/naive/gullible/immature etc. etc. etc., you wound me. That may be your intent to satisfy your own desire to hurt me or put me in my place. Or you may believe that it is for my own good and indeed that may be your intent out of love or concern or decency or whatever, but nevertheless you tell me that I am unacceptable because I do not see things, relate to something, believe, or feel as you do. And that will almost always be detrimental to a relationship and erode or eliminate opportunity for understanding, mutual cooperation, and harmony.

For me to inform you how your words or actions affect me is not necessarily an attempt to change you, however. If your loud music is a problem for me, I am not suggesting that it should be a problem for you too, but simply asking that you refrain from making it a problem for me.

Quote:
People differ on what the appropriate degree of controlling behavior is though. Nobody here wants to advocate either extreme, so it's all contingent on the interpretation of degrees that the passage does nothing to resolve.

The passage assumes controlling behavior is not good, and seeks to forward that perspective. And doing so is not functionally different from the perspectives being forwarded that were objected to.

If the passage took its own advice, it would seek to understand then accept the controlling behavior instead of forwarding its own point of view.


In Kiersey vernacular, it is for each person to decide what they do or do not consider acceptable and it is not up to us to decide that for them. In this context controlling behavior is informing another person that their emotions or wants or desires are wrong and they must see it as you see it in order to be right. (Rhetorical ‘you’ of course.)

The passage informs that such controlling behavior creates disharmony and unpleasantness in relationships and sometimes blocks effective communication and cooperation. It does not require anyone to change their thoughts and feelings in order to be acceptable. And it separates a person's impressions of anything from the person's behavior.

Bill sees that Jake is being dishonest and manipulative and is concerned that Tom is being suckered. Bill informs Tom of what Bill sees.

Scenario A
Tom informs Bill that he is aware of Bill’s concern but he (Tom) has it under control and is fine.

Bill now has this additional information from Tom and allows Tom his own perceptions, emotions and wants and respect him by accepting those as right for Tom. Tom allows Bill his different perceptions, emotions, and wants even though he doesn’t share them.

This is a desirable and edifying goal according to Kiersey.

Scenario B

In the same situation, Bill informs Tom that Tom is stupid (or any number of other judgmental adjectives) because Tom isn’t acting as Bill thinks Tom should. Bill is annoyed that Tom is so dense or whatever and Tom is resentful at being treated like a fool or whatever.

A toxic element is introduced into the relationship and can block effective communication and/or effective compromise and/or cooperation between the parties.

The motive for expecting the other to feel, react, respond, appreciate, reject etc. as we would is because we believe ourself to be right and the other wayward because he or she is different. That is what is meant by attempting to make the other into a ‘carbon copy’ of ourselves. It is a metaphor and a pretty good one at that. .

Quote:
.I have no idea how it was intended, but I'm not going to take offense.

However, just in case you were trying to offend I will leave the ultimate insult to you to be read only in that precise scenario:

"You should change!"


My intent was to inform you that I no longer hold a negative opinion of you that I once did. You have informed me that I did not communicate that effectively. So I now know that I need to say it differently in order for you to understand. I no long hold the opinion that you are either snotty or a tight ass. I was not attempting to offend in any way but was rather trying to be charming. I appreciate that you did not see it that way.

I now know that I should indeed probably change my method of communicating with you. I will choose to retain my own feelings in the matter, however, if that is okay with you. Smile

Disclaimer: Do I practice this stuff I teach religiously and without exception? Of course not. I never claimed to be a saint or that I choose to do the smart thing in every circumstance. But when I remember to use it, it has rarely been without merit.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 05:05 pm
@Ragman,
I agree Ragman. Just a little understanding goes a very long way IMHO.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 05:44 pm
@Montana,
Ok, I'll be the one to bring down wrath, but also to mention the s word, which is at the heart of the warnings to Montana, correctly or not, we don't know.

Montana never inquired about the word sociopath or psychopath, as recognized by some, erroneously or not erroneously. Well, Montana, you didn't, that I know of, and probably didn't look them up, exhibited no interest in the worriers' point of view as you were busy being insulted, and learning by living. Some very sharp people mentioned those words or the equivalent in warning.

I stood back but I understood the warners. I also get not liking being called naive.

As I tried to say once before but managed to mangle and was taken as another condescender, many savvy people don't know of all the patterns of aberrant human behavior, and to not know about sociopaths doesn't make one stupid.


However, the whole being-taken-as-stupid thing is a reactive construct, sort of before the horse, a quick and now sturdy defense, when people have mostly been trying to give you information, Montana.

I think an early poster may have given a link or quote about sociopaths, not sure.

I'm not going to pick a link for sociopathy, someone more knowledgeable than I can help on that.


Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 06:35 pm
@ossobuco,
Thank you Osso for your thoughts. I do care about what you all think, but again, I was merely speaking with someone on a public forum where I was safe and sound, so after a few days of my concerned friends creating interference in my mere speaking with him here, I got angry.
I care about all my concerned friends just as much as they care about me, but they need to give me the freedom to make my own choices and trust that I'm wise enough to make the right ones.
If I want to do something, right or wrong, I'm going to do it regardless of what anyone says and the harder people try to convince me to stop doing what they think is wrong, the higher the odds get that I would do it even more.
I don't know if you read my story about my friend Robin, who her father and I drove out of the state because of our interference, but I'm cut just like she was in that sense.
The warnings from my friends were highly appreciated and I need them to know that, but at the same time, I need them to know that some took it a little too far, if not a lot too far.
With the exception of 2, I still care very much about everyone as I always have and I can only hope that they can come to understand why I feel the way I do.

My apologies Ragman for getting off track.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 06:46 pm
@Montana,
Yes, and I have understood this -

Thank you Osso for your thoughts. I do care about what you all think, but again, I was merely speaking with someone on a public forum where I was safe and sound, so after a few days of my concerned friends creating interference in my mere speaking with him here, I got angry.
I care about all my concerned friends just as much as they care about me, but they need to give me the freedom to make my own choices and trust that I'm wise enough to make the right ones.
If I want to do something, right or wrong, I'm going to do it regardless of what anyone says and the harder people try to convince me to stop doing what they think is wrong, the higher the odds get that I would do it even more.


but

You still won't look the meaning of the word sociopath up. Take a step and try it. This is not condescending, it's a warning from people who know about these things, more or less. I'm not spark on advanced psychology either.

Stop with the people thinking you're stupid stuff. No one, or very few, do - that is your defense system in gear.
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:07 pm
@ossobuco,
How do you know I didn't look it up Osso? I've expessed my natural curiosity in knowing what makes people tick and studying sociopaths along with all aspects of psychology is something I've been doing for many years.
I watch all the programs I can about them and try to get into the minds of psychotics. My mother thinks it's an unhealthy curiousity and thinks I watch to much of those programs.

But, again, I was just talking to the guy.

Ok, I know not all think or thought I was stupid and I stated that, but that's what it looked like in some of their posts. Many, at least gave the impression that I didn't know what I was doing.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:16 pm
@Montana,
If you have read about sociopaths, I'll back off.
It sure didn't seem like you had paid sociopathy a millisecond of awareness - much more about being taken as stupid. Let's say you have a raw nerve there.

I'm not against that, just trying to figure out the dynamics here.
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:36 pm
@ossobuco,
Fair enough. I'll sit here as long as I have too to explain whatever anyone wants me to explain.
0 Replies
 
CTyank
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 07:34 pm
With stand your ground conflict has taken on a whole new meaning. Since my boyfriend kicked my husbands cane out from under him and laughed about it there is not going to be anything punitive for the revenge that he took, my husband was brutal. It is my boyfriend that is going to be charged with assault and battery, pay a big fine and, get a police record as well as posibly getting up to a year in jail.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Aug, 2013 03:26 pm
@CTyank,
Seems that you have replied to the wrong post.

This is where you want to go:
http://able2know.org/topic/221093-2#post-5424688
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 02:47 pm
@Ragman,
It is difficult as you need a point of reference for genuine empathy. One tends to feel more connected to others that share the same views..having said that most people find a different point of view interesting. But it is truly irritating to find people can find a blanket statement to cover all situations
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 09:23 pm
@Germlat,
Thank you for bringing up a thread to remember.
 

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