I JUST CAN’T UNDERSTAND
why I’m never heard!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & CONFUSION (Part 7)
QUOTE: “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ~ Robert McCloskey, writer
ADULT Confusion (cont.)
REMEMBER: ‘Message sent is not always message received’.
Depending on how important it is to you to be understood, AND who you’re talking to – you may need to double check whether or not they hear you correctly, or have instead formed their own interpretation. Unrecovered wounded people tend to filter what they hear through their WIC or PP, coloring input from others, especially if it’s scary to your CHILD or not allowed by the INTROJECT.
C. OTHERS confusing US
In dealing with other people, the #1 rule is: “If you walk away confused, they are confusing”. Do not assume it’s you!
1. IGNORE EMOTIONS: When we’re talking about an emotional situation, & the other person responds with an action suggestion, thinking they’re being helpful:
Comment: “My apartment recently burned down, & I was there at the time. Especially painful was the loss of 2,000 books & my 2 cats!”
Some Responses: “Get new cats right away” // “So what did you learn from the experience?” // “Well, at least you’re alive!” // Laughter ——- UGH!
2. INCOMPLETE responses: There are 2 main ways others can confuse us when trying to give us information, often in the guise of help. Info is only beneficial if it’s what we need at the time, & in a form we can use.
Vertical confusion – using School Levels as a metaphor – what if you asked someone for info at level 1 or 2 because that’s as far as you’d gotten on a subject / project / lesson…., but the response was at level 3 or above? You would not be able to use what was offered, & you could easily be confused, if you tried to apply it before you were ready.
Anyone who responds that way is NOT actually paying attention or asking for some context (“Where are you in your process?”). More than likely they’re in a narcissistic / co-dependent fog & just offer whatever they know, have done, or would like themselves, without considering you at all.
Horizontal confusion – Others will try to provide what they think is a perfectly logical answer, but are actually giving an incomplete answer. This happens when they’ve left out a crucial piece of info somewhere along the line (X) which they assume you know, but of course you do not. You know something is missing, so you ask for clarification.
It’s so aggravating when the person says: “Well, what do you want to know?” Since you can’t possibly know what that missing piece is, you can’t ask for it specifically – you can only say you’re confused. If you insist they explain it more thoroughly, AND they can’t or won’t – both of you will get very frustrated, & possibly quite testy!
3. OTHER ways
The list of how we can confuse others is the same as what they can do to us (Part 7).
Some people’s motto is: “If I can’t convince you, at least I can confuse you!”
Re. THEM – We get confused when someone:
● asks for something small & then when you do it, they tell you there’s more to the ‘thing’ than they first told you (giving them a quick ride home turns into several stops to pick up a fiend, their dry-cleaning, cigarettes….)
● claims something is a proven fact simply because it’s a popular belief
● does not ask for sufficient info when assigned a task or project, & then procrastinates, or makes a mess of it
● never gets to the point, talking around a topic
● makes everything into a joke
● smiles or laughs while talking about something personally painful (like childhood abuse, a death, an insult received….)
● says something that has nothing to do with the conversation
● talks really fast & doesn’t take a breath, but doesn’t say anything meaningful
● tends to exaggerate, even lie, so you can never tell what’s really true
● they claim to be or do something they can never live up to
● uses complex words to explain something simple
Re. US – We tend to get confused when someone:
● accuses you of something you didn’t do or say
● ‘comes on to you’ but has no intention of following thru (a tease)
● does the opposite of a direct request you made
● doesn’t pick up on cues you give out about who you are or how you feel, so treats you as if you’re someone else (in their head)
● expects you to read their mind (know what they want)
● ignores or insults you to your face, but praises you to others (parents)
● ignores what you’re saying, leaving you wondering if you were heard
● is symbiotic, assuming you are the same as them
● is usually ‘there for you’ in some situations, but definitely not in others
● only says what they think you want to hear
● reacts to your Adult or happy IC ego states from their PP or WIC
● reacts negatively to a positive or neutral statement
● repeats what you say – but in reverse (I hate holidays / Oh, you love holidays / Paint my room any color BUT brown / & then they paint the room brown )
● pretends to understand what you’re saying but doesn’t, letting you go on thinking they’re ‘connecting’ when they’re not
● says they’ll do something (“I’ll call you later”) but rarely or never does
● says “You know what I mean” without sufficient context
● twists your words against you — (Cartoon )
● uses emotions to manipulate (creating guilt, fear…)
● uses their position of authority to manipulate you into going against your principles or best interest ETC.
NOTE: Many of these forms of confusion can easily lead to becoming frustrated & angry! That’s normal. Remember – if you are the recipient of any of these ‘games’, it’s not you that’s off!
NEXT: Confusion (Part 9)