Those Who Spell It Out... Do You Exist?!? | INFJ Forum

Those Who Spell It Out... Do You Exist?!?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by tooserious, Feb 13, 2010.

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  1. tooserious

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    The person who perhaps knows me best has described me as having a kind of social-relational dyslexia. That is, it's not that I'm incapable of understanding a thing, it's just that I must have things explained to me in rather painstaking detail before I understand. Not every time mind you, just for each new thing, like I need help sounding out a word before I know what it is.

    I feel like there are so many rules to behavior, and I often have a hard time understanding why something I've done/said (or not done/said) has managed to upset a person so much. There are layers and nuance in interpersonal relationships that often escape me.

    I am 33 years old, and I know that part of my problem comes from a life of general inexperience. I am a hard man to offend and thusly, when I put myself in another person's shoes, I don't see the thing I'm doing as problematic. I am very matter of fact, able to discuss flaws and failings (in myself or perhaps, in another) rather dispassionately, as if it were simply theoretical.

    My question, if I have one, is what to do about all this. So much of behavior is nonverbal, is not something that can be discussed. You act this way to communicate that, this gesture means this, and so on. You do something, you say something, and the rest is silence. Far too often I walk away from a situation with a picture in my head that does not match what the other person experienced. So much of the time I'm seen as odd but heartfelt and quite frankly, I'm become more and more disheartened and nonplussed as things go on.

    Do I belong to some category or cadre of people who prefer to verbalize and spell out things that most people treat as unspoken (yet inescapably real and consequential)? I don't seem to meet many of them and yet...

    I need to know if people who like to spell it out, what's going on, how things are seen, how things are taken, people who take on faith that I'm trying and want to be the best possible and just need to verbalize what's going on underneath the surface... I need to know if they exist!

    Do they?


     
  2. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I am similar in that I prefer things to be verbally explained to me. As such I verbally explain things that I experience as well. I put such a high level of effort into clear communcation, so much so that it is second nature to me. I have found that since I put so much effort into explaining things, people (who have the capacity) will try to meet me in the middle. Or at the very least listen to me and take what I have to say to heart. Perhaps explain what you are thinking, feeling, and understanding / not understanding. This might lead to clearer things for you.
     
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  3. the

    the Si master race.
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    It is something you would just pick up on early in life. I dont think you will make much progress now at your age. It would prob be best to just find a way to accept your personality as is.
     
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  4. IndigoSensor

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    While what you say is true, it is not a totally lost cause. Two or three years ago I was not nearly as good at communication as I am now. I have always had a natrual desire to communicate/explain, and more so with understanding. Doesn't mean that I was any good. I just realised that there was a lot to be desired and began to work on it. Sounds like this guy wants to have others to appease for him, which is very hard to actively do, but that shows a drive to at least understand, which is half of it.
     
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  5. OP
    tooserious

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    To be clear, communication (at least, in its verbal form) is not at issue here; I can usually get a point across with relative ease.

    My difficulty lies in social perception: far too often, I walk away from an encounter with little awareness that anything has gone awry or if I sensed it, I'm not clear what went wrong.

    Put me in a confessional one-on-one, where both parties are being heartfelt, personal, and sincere, and I flourish; I am often told my abilities to perceive, determine, and summarize what lies under the surface or what is affecting the obvious has been "almost scary." I have been able to consistently predict where my friends will place on the Myers-Briggs, for example; they will call me after taking the test and want to know how I got it right, as if I'd performed a magic trick.

    My problem, as I said earlier, is social perception. So much gets said without words, and so much is thought but not vocalized, and I am often left at a loss if not blissfully ignorant. My closest friends, without exception, must be capable of speaking openly and honestly with me, and willing to come to me with the benefit of the doubt and not assume I was being intentionally malicious. I live in a world of words, and at least according to one statistic, 90% of communication is non-verbal.

    I need things spelled out for me, socially and interpersonally, in any setting wherein I must consider my effect upon others, how something I do or say will be seen (not how I intend it), and where I must give and receive on a personal level.

    Co-workers in that casual setting of verbal banter and nonverbal evaluation (and ostracizing, and alliances) leave me absolutely bewildered.

    Personal relationships where I must give of myself and be aware of how the other person feels about my behavior are often equally disastrous.

    Social settings wherein I am dealing with the significant others of close friends (or their other friends whom I do not know) often end with me having been interepreted as offensive or at best, something of an oddball. This often leads to my close friends only spending time with me when it can be just us and thus, I "don't get all weird and hard to predict or head off."

    Perhaps I am overstating the case. Incidents and problems are far fewer these last few years with my friends; I have made some limited inroads in speaking the language of the workplace, letting my actions speak more often for me and raising my awareness of subtext. In personal relationships... well, I've had far less chances to practice in such things the last few years.

    I'm just frustrated about all of this. I realize it's the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, and in my case the latter considerably eclipses the former. I'm not incapable or retarded, it's just that by the time things reach a point where someone talks to me, I've cluelessly gone quite a ways in a certain direction, and any changes I make are then held suspect ("did he do this because he agrees he was wrong, or just because I said something?"), or it's too late to change anything.

    I've been told that part of the reason that most people don't spell things out is because most people find it harsh or even hurtful to have things said to your face like that. That the social behavior which so mystifies and frustrates me in fact exists to communicate things in a way that allow people deniability, allow them to save face.

    Therefore, the kind of people I need, the ones who will verbalize, the ones who will explain before things go too far, and the ones who don't assume I meant harm until they've spoken with me about it.... do they exist? Am I wrong to hope for someone like that in my life? Is it unrealistic to think I will find people in a work setting who would help with things like this?

    Your thoughts, opinions, and of course replies are most welcome.
     
    #5 tooserious, Feb 14, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  6. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Yes, this might very well be the case. I would recommend bracing for this possibility.
     
  7. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    If you are interested in personal growth and understanding how other people manage to comprehend social situation regarding non-verbal part of communcation then you could read about emotional intelligence, and maybe talk to your friends about conducting some kind of an experiment, like after spending evening in a group of people mostly observing their behavior try talking to some of your friends who were present there about what you think of social dynamics, and people's intentions. Try listening their view of non-verbal part of the evening.

    I think that most of people generally don't understand quite well non-verbal communication, just try to learn patterns in human behavior in groups and rely on them when assessing what someone means by doing and saying something.
     
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  8. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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  9. Roger

    Roger ...

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    I have same opinion like you. Sometimes things don't work for us then we have two options accept things as they are or suffer for sometime to change things as we want.
     
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