Q and A: What Do You Say When You Don’t Know What To Say?

No. I don’t do it as much as I used to, but when I was in one of those conversation situations where I didn’t know what to say but felt pressured to say something, I would usually just say “No”.

It used to confuse people.

Especially if they hadn’t asked me a question which could be answered with a Yes or a No.

Or if they hadn’t asked me a question at all.

I also had a habit of saying: “No… I agree.”  or “No… you’re right.”

Which also confused people.

Particularly when all they heard was the “No” and their minds reacted to that, blocking out the rest of the sentence.

Or if they did hear the rest of the sentence their minds edited my words into something which made more sense to them such  as: “No… I disagree.” or “No… you’re wrong.”

Which brings me to a recent spam:

naturally like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I will certainly come again again.

– blog spam

The writers of blog spam need to make a spam comment sound like a genuine comment so the blogger will approve it and display it on their post. It’s very much a case of saying something when they don’t know what to say… and usually making a mess of it.

It can be confusing to read spam. Your mind tries to make sense of it, but… the words just refuse to make sense.

Genuine comments can also be confusing, often because they’re written on smart phones which aren’t as smart as they think they are.

Genuine comments can also be weird, because people are weird… I’m weird, and my comments and replies reflect that.

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

– blog spam by the same spammer

My posts also reflect my weirdness. Sometimes I attempt to be less weird, but the problem with that is – Can a natural weirdo figure out how to be less weird?

And also it tends to bung up my system when I try to not follow my system of just blurting out my weird and sharing it as is.

Which brings me to:

   

  

The image and statement above is something I used as a writing prompt in a post back in November 2014. At the beginning of that post I said –  “There’s a quote which keeps popping up in my blog’s search results” – and that explains that.

Yesterday this turned up in my blog’s search term stats: “what should be my reply for “my life my rules ” from opposition”

Which I thought was an intriguing perspective and question.

What would you say in reply to someone who had just said “my life, my rules” to you?

I’m not exactly sure what they mean by “from opposition” but I’m going to hazard a guess that the “my life, my rules” was used in an argument, a debate, a disagreement… and it acted upon the other “opposition” like my “No” affected those I said it to.

Like a STOP sign:

   

Cultural Stop Sign from Global Arrival

    

If I was having a discussion with someone and it was getting perhaps a bit heated, turning into a me versus them or a them versus me, and they said to me – “my life, my rules” – and it made the flow of the conversation come to a HALT.

HALT = time to Have A Long Think…?

Then I hope that I would have the presence of mind and mindfulness in the moment to pause for thought.

A person saying something like “my life, my rules” most likely feels that they are being pressured in some way to do or be something which goes against who they are and what they would rather do.

If I felt as though I was the opposition to their opposition… which one of us is on the right side and which one of us is on the wrong side? What if we’re both right and both wrong? As in right for ourselves and wrong for each other.

“A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still.”



― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

The quote above is one of my all time favourite pieces of advice. There’s some debate about who said it first… does it matter who said it first? Isn’t the point it is making what really matters?

I read Dale Carnegie’s books when I was a young adult. And that piece of advice is one of several which stuck with me, the rest fell into forgetfulness.

That one stuck because I grew up in an environment populated by people who were constantly at each other’s throats. I was often piggy in the middle of two people on either side of an opposition.

As a piggy in the middle you often get pulled apart by those on either side of an opposition. They want you on their side against the other – CHOOSE A SIDE!!!

Which is partly why “No” became a go to word, answer, whole sentence, for me. It was what I said when I wanted and need time to think. When I wanted the ride to STOP so I could get off because I was getting dizzy, feeling sick, was too confused by the experience.

My parents wanted me, their only child, to choose between them, to have a favourite. Whichever side was chosen would love me, and whichever side wasn’t chosen would not love me, would reject me.

But even the side which loved me would not love me, because half of me reminded them of the opposition which they hated.

“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.”


— Nicholas Klein

The quote above is another one of those which has caused some disagreements about its original source.

It’s also the one which caught my eye when I put the term ‘ignored’ into Goodreads.

Why? Because it sums up my relationship with my parents. If they weren’t ignoring me, they were ridiculing me, and that was just a hop skip jump to being attacked less passive-aggressively. When the aggression was on open blast, you would get thoroughly burned.

As for the building a monument to you, that happened once they’d killed you off as only once you were dead could they be certain that you wouldn’t ruin their plans for you. You could finally be who they wanted you to be, do they wanted you to do, and say what they wanted you to say… for them.

They didn’t have to actually kill you to turn you into whoever they needed you to be for them… although if you happened to kill yourself you’d be doing them and their story about themselves a huge favour. Why do you keep being so selfish and living!

It’s getting a bit dark in here. Sorry about that, might be due to the scorpion sandwich – Venus direct moving into the first degrees of Scorpio and Mercury retrograde moving into the last degrees of Scorpio.

One astrologer described it as:

Note that Mercury Rx is hitting the late degrees of Scorpio and Venus is activating the early degrees, so the full depth of an issue is being mined.

Mercury Rx urges you to analyze and put it into words (even if those words are only in your head) while Venus asks you to move ahead with what you really want.

In both cases (mind and heart) nothing will do but total honesty and an unblinking look at what lies beneath the surface (this can also refer to your recently discovered reservoirs of power).

– Ruby Slipper Astrology, December 2nd 2018: Myriad Energies

They’re both within touching distance to natal placements in my chart – Mars and Neptune in the 3rd house of Communication.

The habit I developed of saying “No.” could easily be attributed to natal Mars, the warrior, rushing in to protect natal Neptune, the vague one who gets a bit confused and needs time to think…

Give Neptune time to think and oh what mystical wonders it may imagine and share. Don’t give Neptune time to think and it will stew in confusion, spiraling down and deeper down into despair and fog (Fear Obligation Guilt).

And all you’re left with is a mightily pissed off Mars… in the sign of the scorpion. You will get stung, even if at the end of the battle it stings itself to death. It was worth it, right?

“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.”

― Noam Chomsky

The quote above is a ponderable. I have to admit that I stumbled over the concept of saying “something true”…

The truth is elusive… what is true?

And what is true in this moment may not be true in the next moment when… well, when maybe you change your mind about it. Sometimes speaking your truth… makes you realise it sounds untrue when spoken, so maybe it wasn’t the truest true you thought it was when it was trapped inside, unspoken, censored.

In an opposition between two people – don’t they both think their side of the debate is the true one? That they know the truth?

My mother thought her side was the true one, the righteous right and good side. My father thought his side was the only side to be on and everyone who wasn’t on it was in the wrong, against him.

He was one of those people who often spoke the truth which hurt others to hear… and so they reacted by ignoring his truth in favour of a more favourable truth of their own. And sometime later their version of the truth got sliced open, cut into tiny pieces and fed to them by my father’s truth.

In other words they didn’t believe him, listen to him, heed his warning about the sort of person he was, they preferred to believe that he was who they wanted and needed him to be for them… and sometime later they were deeply upset and disappointed to find out that he wasn’t who they wanted and needed him to be for them, he was exactly who he had said he was.

   

excerpt from The Warning Label Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Should Come With By Heidi Priebe

  

Heidi Priebe writes brilliant articles about the MBTI. If you click on the link to check yours out (assuming it’s not one of the ones in the above screenshot), would you say it was a fair warning for your type?

Mine, INTP, is a good one… although not so good for others when I do it. I do realise that it is an incredibly annoying thing to do. My tendency to “fact check” what people say to me isn’t to be a pain in the conversational ass, it isn’t to prove anything about myself to the other…

It’s a reaction to the years of angry confusion I experienced listening to narcissists talking, telling truths and lies (one minute the sky is blue and the next minute… nope, I didn’t say that, why would I say that, the sky isn’t blue at all it’s orange, are you stupid, well I’m not stupid like you, you never listen, that’s your problem), constructing realities, tearing them down, endless narcissist versus the world rants, arguments, fights, debates, twisting your words around if you ever got a word in edgewise, tying you up in knots, clashing, crashing, etc.

It was the plate tectonics of conversation [I wonder if he’ll “borrow” this too].

“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”


― Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I

We warn people all the time, about ourselves, about how they may be crossing a boundary of ours and we’d rather they didn’t do that.

Have you ever warned people about something, and they didn’t heed the warning, then blamed you for not warning them?

What would your warning label say if you wore one?

Perhaps the person who said “my life, my rules” was warning their “opposition” that a personal boundary was about to or had been crossed and it was time to STOP!

But the opposition’s opposition doesn’t want to stop, perhaps they don’t know how, perhaps others have never shown them how, perhaps others never stop when they ask them to…

So they went on a search to find something to say when they didn’t know what to say to keep the me versus you going…

and going…

and…

STOP.

Look both ways.

Listen.

   

   

Best wishes to whoever you are who was searching for –  “what should be my reply for “my life my rules ” from opposition” – thank you for the inspiration which took me on a wander within. I know that you will not be reading these words, and that I do not know what your words were about…

.


10 thoughts on “Q and A: What Do You Say When You Don’t Know What To Say?

Add yours

  1. What do I say to “my life, my rules”? Usually “Cool hope that works out for you.” while my brain is silently saying “you cannot possibly imagine the vast indifference I feel about your rules or your life you arrogant a**hat.” While praying to whatever entity might be listening for rescue from this abhorrent social interaction and wondering if I could fake a migraine to get out of there. Yeah, you guessed it, I’m an INFJ, to.the.core. Excellent post, deep and thought provoking, as always. 😉

    Like

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      Haha! Sarcasm with a sprinkling of I dare you to eat this! Love it!

      Ever since I’ve stopped thinking that people running away from me screaming is a bad thing, I find that if and when I encounter that kind of a situation I simply let my INTP do its thing and that’s that 😉

      Like

  2. Um, as to that last bit there? Yeah I was reading ALL the words and yeah, I probably misinterpreted a few along the way. But great post all the same. Deep and thoughtful, which is what I’ve come to expect from you. ❤ I may answer a few of the questions in there, or I may not. My head is not feeling good and is screaming "STOP". 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂

      By ‘that last bit there’ do you mean the Alan Greenspan quote? I popped that in there at the end because when people say things our minds interpret them using our own inner reference points, and sometimes we misinterpret what they’ve said but think we’ve understood, and they often have one hell of a job trying to explain to us that they were not saying what we thought they were saying. So the quote applied to my interpretation of the search term, and also maybe to how the person who used that search term had interpreted what the “opposition” had said to them.

      Take good care of yourself, Melanie ❤ When the head screams stop, it's usually a good idea to do what it says even when you're a natural rebel like you are 😉

      Like

  3. Hi Ursula,

    It seems like WordPress stop sending notifications updates for your posts, could you please check on your side? Or if it’s my WP having issues that I’ii need to reinstall. I was finishing up a post and going to grab the link from your site when I saw your new post and realized I did not receive the notifications for your new post.

    Ohh, I beginning to reread my own posts and haha quite a mess there 😉 Shows how careless I am…and I’m glad you didn’t mind at all when you read those funny phrases.

    Thank you 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Reverist 🙂

      WordPress has a lot of glitches at the moment. Many things aren’t working properly. They’re updating the platform and it is causing quite a bit of chaos to how things usually work. So it’s neither my side nor your side, it’s both, it’s all of it. It’s usually best to just work around the glitches until they sort things out, and not worry about it.

      I have a similar experience when I reread my posts. I did once or twice try to tidy up my old posts but then I decided to leave things as is and just keep going, as editing made me want to delete everything. When I start being too concerned about how I write I end up being unable to write.

      I enjoyed reading your posts, I love the way you write. Besides, as far as I noticed, there were only a few funny phrases and I rather liked them as they were, perhaps because I use a lot of funny phrases and words in my posts. 😉

      Like

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