May 4, 2003

Of situations and silences …

I have always had trouble deciding what people mean when they do something. I try to put myself in their place and figure out what I meant or felt like or wanted if I’d done what they’d done but most of the time this results in a completely different set of interpretations to what the person originally might have thought or meant. I am not too surprised by this since I don’t think we could really put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes except perhaps in simpler cases which do not involve a myriad of feeligns and emotions – each person’s reactions are based on their background, the way they think and how they feel at any given moment … at least that’s what I think.

The problem however is that while I don’t think I can really figure out what somebody else wants or means, I still have to try and do so at certain times. It would be ideal if all human interactions could be either so transparent so that no translation is necessary (which probably would mean that either we all start thinking alike or we verbalize things a lot more :p) or if we are always able to talk things out freely and openly so that we can figure out what the other person meant and then be able to base our judgements on hard facts. Unfortunately, life isn’t so – or maybe *I* make it to be so since most of my problems seem to stem from the value systems that I adopt.

Doesn’t make sense? OK, well, if somebody tells me that they don’t want to talk about a certain subject, I will (almost fanatically) respect that request and not talk about it till that person has specifically informed me that we can talk about it again. The problem is that sometimes people assume that I’d *know* that it was safe to talk about it again based on their actions and since I don’t like to base my actions on a judgement call (lest I be wrong) unless absolutely necessary, I will simply go on till they specifically tell me and try not to assume anything. You’d think it would be simple enough for me to ask them if it was OK to talk about the subject again and find out from them wouldn’t you? But that is where my fanatical refusal to talk about the subject comes in :p If they didn’t want me to talk about something, my thinking usually is that they wouldn’t want me to bug them about whether we could talk about it either. So silent I remain and try to figure things out based on the other person’s actions … and this as I mentioned earlier is a slippery slope indeed …

Yes, I know … I should probably try to decide what is important enough to warrant breaking the silence – maybe that would work? But then again, how do I decide that? Is what is important to *me*, that important to the other person? Again we come to trying to put ourselves in another person’s place and so it goes – round and round and round. I sometimes think that being in my mind must feel like being in a hamster cage :p Do other people have these dilemmas too or do I just make these things up to keep the days going? <g>

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Tags: Personal, Reflections
Posted by Fahim at 6:20 am   Comments (1)