Thursday, December 20, 2007

Situation

I have had a recent situation in my life which has caused me to ponder a few things over the last couple of days. And since I am pondering them... ya'll can ponder them with me.

First pondering:

Why is it, as a society if something can be taken two different ways we AUTOMATICALLY assume it was meant the worse of the two ways? What ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? Whenever I say something to Jake it appears as if he ALWAYS picks the worse of the two ways. Even though I normally mean the better of the two ways. (And I'm not just saying that because I want to sound good, really, I usually do. And if I don't, I'm going to tell him I don't.)

However, this doesn't just happen between Jake and I. It seems to happen in my writing also. For instance if I write the following paragraph:

Jill is a lovely girl. She is so pretty and really sweet. However, tonight when we were out she really bit the head off of this waiter. We were with my other friend and after Jill left she mentioned to me that she thought Jill was kind of a jerk. I tried to explain to her that it was sort of out of character for Jill but I could understand how she could get the wrong idea.

Now, reading that, what did you take away from it? Me, I take away that I have a good friend who apparently had a bad day and gave someone the wrong impression of her. However, some of the people in my life would take that as I am bashing Jill. And should Jill stumble upon it she would automatically assume that I hate her, even though that is not at all what I meant.

Why is that? I write a lot of things on this blog and depending on my mood they may come off sounding not at all how I meant them. However, you would think, at a bare minimum, the people who know me in real life would know what I meant or at least be willing to ask me.

Which brings me to point of ponderance number two:

You read something on some one's blog. You happen to know this person in real life and you also know the other person that they are writing about. You think that what the blog owner said was not nice. Do you:

a) write the blog owner and e-mail and ask them about it or call them on the telephone and ask them why they had written something about someone else you know.

or

b) Immediately go to the person they were writing about and tell them that the blog owner is writing mean things about them?? Which really only serves to hurt the person who was written about and then causes several hours of worry on the blog owners part because what they wrote was interpreted wrong and now they have to figure out how to "fix" the situation.

Obviously the majority of society will pick b, since that appears to be the way it usually happens with Dooce. If you have ever read some of her hate mail it seems to indicate that people jump first and ask questions later. And usually, people assume the worst. Why is that? Are we really living in a society where no one can just be a good person and have an off day? Do we really all have to assume the worst about one another?

For future reference there is a button over there, it says e-mail me. If I write something that you don't like click on it and ask me what I meant before assuming it was how you took it. Also, if I write something and it can be taken one of two ways, assume it was the better of the two ways. Especially if you are not going to e-mail me to ask about it!!

10 comments:

lonna said...

I hate to pull out my psychology background, but it sounds like you're running up against the Fundamental Attribution Error. People are basically lazy, at least our brains try to be. So when someone else does something bad, we automatically assume it's something wrong with their character. They're jerks. When something goes wrong with us, we blame it on the situation. I'm not saying that you are doing this. In fact it sounds like you're fighting the good fight against FAE. It does sound like many people around you are falling for the FAE trap.

Anonymous said...

Awesome way to put that little "situation" that we have going on! I think our perfect little "friend" that saw this post needs to pull her and the rest of her family's heads out of their BUTT and wake up! They are SO not perfect!! Some of them need to get JOBS, and some need to tell their family to GET JOBS!! Quit living off MY "FRIEND"!! Gosh darn...how many heart attacks does one man have to have...oopppsss..did I say that...damn it!! Oh well...maybe they will print this off and take it to Mommy dearest!! I am not pregnant anymore and I swear I will THROW down if I have to...ha ha...Love you Heather!!

MOLLY

Anonymous said...

I totally sympathize with you heather! I am the same way. Apparently I'm not good with words or maybe not with my imflection or whatever it may be. But the same thing happens to me frequently! (and I happened to notice this may be a family thing... I notice that it happens most with me with family! Coincidense?)

Jessica said...

I know what situation you are speaking of and you put it in a VERY NICE manner. I like the analogy you used....however - the first post you had you said EXACTLY what you meant and I think you meant what you said so don't be sorry about it or defend it or rearrange it so it sounds better just because someone didn't like you calling them on it.

I think as long as you mean what you say and say what you mean you should be fine! What you said had no hidden agenda's or definitions and could not be misconstrude as anything else.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON!!

pc pro said...

this is to everyone: you probably shouldnt post a message if you dont know everything that is going on which by some of the comments that i have read it doesnt sound like all of you do know everything that is going on especially the comment that was posted by molly. If you knew everything that was going on your attitude towards the situation might be different

Heather said...

PC Pro, I really wish you would stop hiding behind the computer and say what you want to say to me in person. However, since it doesn't look like that is going to happen I will address your comment here.

Molly has talked to the people involved (both me and the other person) and knows what is going on.

I have since spoken with the person who's feelings were hurt and the other person involved in that person's life and appologized for hurting their feelings. So everything is fine there.

Really, I just wish that the person who read the post and was offended by it would have come to me so I could have explained myself instead of running to the other person. No one had to be hurt by it as it wasn't meant the way it was taken and had I had a chance to explain myself first that could have been apparent.

Finally, the main point of my post was that I'm not bothered by the fact that they chose to print off the post. I'm bothered by the fact that that person chose to assume the worst about me.

When faced with two possible options they chose to assume that I was a bad person and would purpously hurt someone else rather than choosing to ask me about it.

In the process several people were hurt who didn't have to be and it has taken a week of hurt feelings to track down all of those people and appologize to them and explain myself.

Anonymous said...

I agree Heather....I think it is ironic when people can talk big but hide behind a "nickname".

I think Molly probably knows the situation at hand better than anyone. I think she probably knows the focal person better than anyone as well.

If you have some huge enlightening information you would like to let us all in on please feel free; we would love to hear it.

I am chosing to post anonymous because I don't want to get into a family disagreement and because I am not saying anything that I feel I am hiding behind. However I am fully aware of the situation and I too know the family very well.

Anonymous said...

Dear old PC PRO...Who EVER you are!!
I think I know a LOT of what is happening in these peoples lives! I AM HIS ONLY DAUGHTER!!! My father tells me a lot and some of which we are both FUSTRATED with! So what do you know that I don't!! Please enlighten me! Here is my e-mail address... Carruthers02@hotmail.com
Or you could get my number from my father and we could chat!
THANKS ALOT!!
And maybe you should quit hidding behind your nickname and sign a real name...as you can see I am not scared to!
Love to all!
Molly (Keith's ONLY DAUGHTER!)

Anonymous said...

I am shocked by all of this..."these people" are our family! I'm not sure when all of this hatred started, but isn't it a little ridiculous? We should never be saying bad things about each other, because we're family, and we all share the same thing...a love for Keith!
I was offended by Heather's comment, because my mom is an amazing women, and she has been through more in her life then most people could handle. I have accepted Heather's apology and believe that she didn't intend to hurt anyone, but I still don't think it was right. It goes back to the rule, "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all", is that so hard to live by?
What is even more offensive is the obvious hatred for us from a person that has always claimed to love us. Molly, what happened to you? You'll "Throw down if you have to"...are you kidding me? You want to fight with us? I am sorry that our relationship with your dad threatens you so much. We never claimed to be perfect, but our love for your dad is as pure and honest as it comes. I can't believe that you are blaming us for his heart attacks, you should be thanking my mom, had she not been around Keith might not be here today. All we care about is his well being, we were at the hospital everyday to see him, because we where so scared, how often were you there? No one is living off of your dad, they are both off due to major surgeries, they take care of themselves. That is all I am going to say about that because it's none of your business.
We are a part of Keith's life, like it or not. We do consider him as our Dad, and he considers us his daughthers. I know you don't understand, because you don't look at my mom that way. You still have your mom, but we lost our dad a long time ago. Keith has taken us under his wing and treats us like his children. Again I am sorry that it bothers you, but he is our dad. He is giving me away at my wedding, and he is excited about it, he is honored, and he feels pride because as much as I look at him as my dad, he looks at me as his daughter.
It's really too bad that you just can't be happy for him. He has found a women that he loves and children that adore him, and instead of being a part it you want to cause drama to try to ruin it. We have never excluded you from anything, because it is important to us and to Keith that his family gets along.
Lastly what happens in Keith and My Mom's lives is no ones business, it's not mine and it's certainly not yours. All we can do as children is love and support them and help them any time they need us. I assure you, you do not know everything that goes on in their lifes, and if your dad wanted you to know he would share with you. Making accusations about somthing you know nothing about just makes you should angry and bitter, and for what reason? Because your dad found happiness, or because you are not the only person in his life anymore?
We should all have the same goal in mind and that is Dad's happiness.
Let this stop here, with no more comments, no more angry words, no more hatred. We are a family, and we should be there for each other. I understand why you are jealous of our relationship with your dad. Before it was just you and now there are four more girls, but we don't need to be in competition for Dad's attention. He loves us all and he wants us to love each other.
Even after all of the comments that you have made I still love you. I love the boys (my nephews) and I love Marshall, and I love Heather, Jake & Zach! We have accepted you into our family and the rest will be up to you! You always seem to have fun with us, don't let jealousy get in the way of a great family.
I would love to talk to either of you more about this situation. Please feel free to call me or email me, you both have my phone # or email address.
Love you!
Tammy