The Con Descending

This is going to be another long one… sigh!

You know that saying about minding your P’s and Q’s…

…well, today I have been struggling with them in a rather literal manner. I was trying to print out some documents and my fingers, instead of pressing – symbol + P – kept pressing – symbol + Q – or at least they kept attempting to do it but I was minding them and their shenanigans.

Doing it once could have been easily explained away as an error due to a slip of concentration – the documents involved in this debacle were connected to something which is complex and troubling my mind, and it was troubling it while I was doing what I was doing – or a Freudian slip of the fingers expressing how I felt about the situation which those documents represented.

However doing it repeatedly after I’d admonished myself for doing it the first time and warned my fingers to be careful… how could I explain such a thing to myself and believe the explanation rather than tag it as BS. In the end I settled for my go-to excuse – my dyslexia, which was aggravated by having to look at long lists of numbers which were symbols of an aspect of the situation which is depleting my resources in more ways than one.

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dyslexic readinginteresting article on reading and not just about dyslexia

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This stressful situation has timing issues, or more to the point I have issues with its timing. It always seems to know when I’m allowing myself to relax and tempting fate by doing so. I even had the chutzpah to boldly state the other day to myself how few rants I’d had recently, especially considering that… here comes a bit of astro which I use as shorthand for human psyche stuff… transiting Mars is conjunct my natal Mercury, which squares my natal Mars – an aspect which is a lit match and a mental powder keg, which can occasionally explode in people’s faces but usually it creates internal combustion (mostly it expresses itself through me arguing with myself, I and all the other parts of self).

Reading my daily astro this morning I saw this:

“Easily irritated
    
During this time you probably feel hurt, offended or ignored and therefore you have withdrawn into yourself, and do not allow anyone to get really close to you. At the same time, though, deep down you want to participate, enjoy life, love and be loved. Nevertheless, you should not expect too much of yourself in this respect. You probably need seclusion or a withdrawal to get over everything. In that case you should not bury yourself in your pain as that will not make things better. You will possibly find that the behavior of the other person was unintentional, and that your present situation mainly mirrors your own sensitivity.” – Robert Hand via Astro.com

Shortly before that I had read a psychology article – What Will They Think of Me? – which irritated me. What was expressed was logical and quite useful, however there is a bit of a gap between theory and practice. There was also a matter of tone.

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conflict - tone versus opinion

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Of course tone is a subjective matter as is everything else. What we hear versus what is actually being said, how we hear it versus how it is heard by the person saying it, etc. Does anyone ever really hear us the way we hear ourselves? And do we ever hear ourselves the way that others hear us?

I had had a similar conversation as the idea expressed in the psychology article with my partner last night, while we were discussing the stressful situation which is affecting both of us even though I’m at the centre of it. He said something along the lines of what ‘Introverts’ often say to the writer of that article.

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“It’s Monday afternoon, and a friend already called me on the phone to discuss (complain about) his perceived obligation to attend a party on the weekend. “So don’t go,” I tell him. “If you’re so averse to going that you call me a solid five days in advance, then it seems that you should not go.” He then turns it around, “Jen, how do you not care what other people think of you?”

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The author’s answer was – “The key to mastering this worry is simple: consider relevance.”

My answer wasn’t as compartmentalised about life, neatly sorting what people say to you into relevant and irrelevant, although I have tried to do that as I think it’s works to a degree when interacting and can avoid certain types of confusion and relationship problems… however the seemingly irrelevant is often very relevant, even when we decide to label it as irrlelevant and dismiss it.

For instance, last night, while trying to relax from the stress of the situation and clear my mind a bit, I logged onto my WP to browse the minds of other bloggers. There is a great world of wonder and wisdom to be found in the creative flow of so many minds and voices sharing themselves – and often what I choose to read and look at, ends up being relevant to what I am going through (life moves in mysterious ways). I saw a comment on my blog awaiting approval – I don’t like to keep people in limbo (but I do like to moderate the comments), so I tended to that matter first. What I read acted as an anti-placebo.

In theory it was irrelevant (to me anyway) but in practice it seemed very relevant to me… and what is going on in my life at the moment (and perhaps also to deeply seated issues).

Reading my daily astro today kind of sums up what happened when I read that comment last night. I knew at that time that I probably should have waited to reply until the morning, therefore allowing me to give a nondescript reply to such a comment, however… sometimes what we should do isn’t as good for us personally as we tell ourselves it will be. A nondescript reply wasn’t ever going to be as satisfying as one in the heat of the moment which got something out of my system and allowed me to go to bed without dragging stuff liable to keep me awake into bed with me.

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mitch albom - nothing haunts us like

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The comment and my reply are here – On Stabbing Yourself in the Eye with a Pencil – since the comment refers to an image on that post it’s best seen in context.

There is an unofficial etiquette to commenting on blog posts. Basically it is similar to the sort of unofficial etiquette of entering into someone’s home, as a blog is a blogger’s online home. Sure, if their blog is public like mine, they’ve left the door open and anyone can come in…

Reminds me of a story my mother used to tell of when she and my father first moved in their house. It had a driveway surrounded by gardens, both leading up to the property and leading into it, with a gate marking the boundary between private and public property. The gate was always left open, mostly to allow visitors, invited ones, easy access. One day my mother found a family having a picnic in the garden on the private side. She did not know this family and they did not know her or my father. My mother politely asked them if they realised that they were trespassing on private property, and they replied that since the gate was open it meant that they were free to trespass and do as they pleased. They were rude when confronted, so they were promptly booted out. After that my parents kept the gate closed.

We all seek to connect with others, it’s an important part of the human experience. We’re encouraged to open ourselves up, share, express who we are…

Which is what the person did in their comment… and what I did in my reply.

I didn’t react as well as perhaps I would have liked to, however this did take place in my virtual home. Someone entered, looked critically at my decor, then launched into a critique which had a condescending tone. That’s how I heard their words, I’m sure they heard their own words differently.

I wonder if they would have appreciated it if I gone over to their blog home and had done something similar to what they did in my blog home. We don’t know each other at all, and certainly not well enough to start off a conversation with – You know what’s wrong with you (and therefore what is right with me)…

I know that they were not exactly doing that, telling me what was wrong with me personally, it was just a painting on my wall which was wrong according to their right, however following it up by explaining Left and Right to me and to anyone else who happens upon an old post buried in the archive in a manner which suggests we’re all terribly confused about which is which…

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condescending.

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Perhaps they should not have started off by announcing their credentials… ones which I am sure they saw as validation for what proceeded afterwards, but which I saw as even more of a reason why they should have been more aware of what they were saying and doing, what they were giving and how it might be received. Those kind of credentials mean they should have known better.

I, on the other hand, don’t have those kind of credentials, so I don’t have to ‘should know better’ even if perhaps I do from those invisible credentials known as experience, and empathy, and being human. But sometimes… screw it. That is also something I have learned from experience.

Spend too much time worrying about what others think of you and you won’t have any time to figure out what you think and your mind will be filled with the voices of others and yours will be drowned… yours needs to learn to swim in shark infested waters.

What do you think?