Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The assumption of assuming things

Just because I'm a human being and this troubles me I'm going to write about it. It's really against my better judgement to write about it because I really don't want to start getting nit picky with other bloggers. I know that sometimes it may seem like I do but I really don't. All I want is an opportunity to voice my opinion, be heard, be understood. I don't really think that is unreasonable but I have better plans for this blog than to spend it on issues like this and yet, here I am, spending it on issues like this anyway.

And maybe it is more important than I am giving it credit. It has to do with communication, I value communication, I think it is a worthy thing for two people with opposing viewpoints to listen to each other, to really hear each other and consider each other's opinions.

Oftentimes, I feel people give lip service to that idea. They say they appreciate other viewpoints, they claim to love tolerance but when it really comes right down to it, it becomes obvious that some people talk the talk but don't walk the walk, and when they are finished talking the talk but failing to walk the walk they'll do everything in the world to make it seem as though the one they didn't want to hear was to blame for the communication failure.

I was recently involved in a discussion where it seemed that every single time I responded to the person they were assuming that I was assuming things about them. The first time this person assumed I was assuming something I decided, thoughtfully, that the person was right and so I apologized. After I apologized, however, I realized that the person had assumed motivations for my assumption that were not true and so I corrected that assumption. I was then accused of "baiting" by this person. Later, I was told I had made an "odd" statement and was made to feel unwelcome at their blog. Again, things were assumed about me which were simply not true but the person, rather than asking me questions just seemed to want to be accusatory, always jumping to their own conclusions that I was assuming things about them instead of simply asking for clarification, instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, instead of showing me a small amount of respect.

I don't mean to try and make myself seem like a victim, if I am a victim I am a victim of my own stupidity for continuing to think that I should offer to involve myself in philosophical discussions with people I don't know and who don't know me. Call me naive.

The fact of the matter is, all of us make some assumptions about each other. I could assume that someone is accusing me of "attacking" them and I'd likely be right, it would be a safe assumption, even though all I did was report what happened in the course of a discussion. How is merely reporting something that happened an "attack," I wonder?

Assuming that someone is assuming things is another assumption in itself.

Why do any of us pretend that we can rise above being human?

After someone has told me that they didn't invite me to their blog why would I believe an after the fact, syrupy sweet invitation to come back anytime was sincere? Let's just get real. Some people just rub each other the wrong way. I seem to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I often reflect on why that is. I often find myself in the position of thinking, "hey, I'll give it another shot," and I'm almost always disappointed.

Am I that intolerable or are so many other people that intolerant? I guess it would depend on who you are, how you'd answer that question.

1 comment:

VT said...

Well, I think having seen the situation that both sides were a little on the sensitive side here. We all get that way when we feel like we're attacked or wronged and that's part of human nature that all of us have inside.

I think you are right in saying both sides seemed to make a few assumptions about the other. You certainly should be commended for taking the high road when you were wrong and admitting your fault. That happens so rarely on the internet that when it happens to me it adds credibility to the person who can admit they were wrong on something. I know sometimes it's very hard for me to do that.

I think this was just a misunderstand situation and moving on would be best for everyone. If we find the same thing happening again..well....then we revisit. :)