When people misinterpret what you say and your intentions | INFJ Forum

When people misinterpret what you say and your intentions

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by slant, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. slant

    slant Roll with the punches
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    My mother was on the phone with my grandmother and was talking about some political issues to her that she had questions about. They conversed for about a half hour, and when my mother got off the phone I decided to comment on what she had said on the phone. Yeah, I know it's ease-dropping but I had been led to believe that it would be okay to do this, because my mother had recently been engaging in similar political conversations with me due to her activity in several political forums. I liked these discussions, so I decided to jump in and started a new one.

    When I began to speak right away I knew I was being misinterpreted by her. She was talking about abortion and how she knows a woman who has had 7 abortions and currently has 5 children, at the age of only 38. She was talking about how she thinks that is wrong from her personal standpoint and how she wonders what they did before abortion, if maybe women were more careful and did not fuck around like that. Well, I expressed the opinion that I believed marriage was made partially because women were fucking around and the men wanted to have legitimate children, so infidelity was quite scorned upon and there were serious punishments for it.

    My mother took offense. She started to argue that yeah, she knows what I am saying which is that marriage is bad and it's to suppress women's rights and that another reason marriage was invented, at least in America, was to give women the rights to property and stuff if their husband died they would have the house property and kids, etc. She just went on and on at this point and thought that had been what I was talking about. She then stated that she didn't understand my argument, that first I was talking about how bad marriage was and she agreed and then I'm trying to tackle her views on abortions because she knows we have opposing opinions on it.



    I disagreed and said that I hadn't even been talking about whether marriage was right or wrong I was just answering a question she had asked with some knowledge that I knew, and that really the incidents in America happened later on- I was talking about some of the main reasons Marriage was invented when it came to be about thousands of years ago.

    From there things just spun out of control. She was talking about how the world is made up of feelings and that people who try to argue about the facts like science, especially athiests, are weak people who have been hurt in the past so they've grown an arrogance to attack people's personal beliefs by using facts to somehow disprove their thoughts. She then went on about how my intention was to bring down her arguments to prove I was right, and mock and laugh at her beliefs because I believe I am superior to her.

    This was -not- intended at all, and I tried to explain this to my mother but she seemed to ignore me. We agreed to not let this happen again by not discussing politics together because my mother insisted she had strong points of views and would likely get mad at anything I had to say because my views were so different then hers. She tries to act like certain groups of people like athiests are closed minded but I kind of feel like she is being closed minded here. I just am amazed at how differently someone can take what you say, I mean, she took my words and then put a hidden agenda to them and completely twisted them.

    I am thinking, maybe this is because she is an INFP and I am a ISTP? She thinks we think so differently, and I guess that's true. To her, when she is talking about her beliefs it's about what she thinks is right or wrong and how she feels about things. To me, it's about what makes sense, what could possibly be universally applied and how my arguments hold up against others.

    Do you guys have a problem with people who just I suppose are so different from you they misinterpret what you are saying and put intentions to your actions that weren't there, all mystifying you in the process?
     
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    #1 slant, Dec 10, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  2. the

    the Si master race.
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    Maybe I missed it, but have you thought that you could be misinterpreting her words and intentions? I get the impression your mother had about you on this forum sometimes. No specific examples come to mind though.
     
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  3. OP
    slant

    slant Roll with the punches
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    I suppose, I just didn't understand what her intentions were and I didn't try to guess. I didn't ask what her intentions were I quite frankly don't know. I was just shocked at the reaction my words brought because my intention wasn't that and I didn't understand how she came to those conclusions.
     
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  4. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    .... ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT???
     
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    Gaze and slant like this.
  5. OP
    slant

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    heh heh heh
     
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  6. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    There are probably a lot of details she isn't showing that are affecting her emotions. Perhaps if she trusts you she will tell you why. But there is nothing wrong trying to sit down and ask her why, without offering any of your own input.
     
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  7. OP
    slant

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    We already agreed not to talk about it. My mother is the type of person that, when she says drop it, you drop it. I'm known to prolong conversations to try to figure out why we're disagreeing and they never respond properly, rather, get frustrated and shut off that I'm not trying to understand that they don't want to have to explain themselves. Why I changed to 'they' and 'them' tense is that my sister also operates like this, and I come to this problem with both of them.
     
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  8. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Interesting...this probably, on some level, explains everything. It is what it is, what happened happened. People are people......and then there's family. It may be that analysis is futile.
     
  9. NeverAmI

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    What emotions do you project when it happens? It is probably a long standing issue that won't be resolved easily. This is all obvious to you, I am sure, but perhaps you can try to be more compassionate to them.


    Have you ever had a conversation with them strictly without your own bias entering?
     
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    #9 NeverAmI, Dec 10, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  10. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    I get this rather often from my parents. I don't think it has anything to do with type differences (except to the extent that they would cause you and your mother to have similar of markedly different ideas about the subject to begin with). Interrupting a person and trying to piece together what se was going to say is probably going to fail unless you know the particular tangent that that person is accustomed to going off on.
    That said, it doesn't sound like she was really trying to interpret much of what you were saying anyway. I'm guessing she has said more or less the same stuff before, correct? It's quite common for people (especially older people) to have tangents pretty well set up beforehand and ready for use with a broad range of topics, wherever they can find some relevance. Her comments about the world's feelings, atheists, science and your momentary intentions didn't really have anything to do with abortion. The same tangent could be used every time you mention a political or religious issue. Basically, I don't think what she said had much to do with what you were saying; it was just bound to come up regardless, so I wouldn't call it a misinterpretation.
     
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  11. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    Slant, I understand this. It's like my sister and I talking about religion... sigh. For her there is only one faith, and one religion--for me there are many faiths, and no religion.

    Some people only argue because they want to support their own views or sense of rightness. I'm taking your side on this one.

    If someone is really interested in your viewpoints, they should listen, not shut you out and shut you down. That shows a negative character trait on their side, not yours (as long as you were open-minded, but politely disagreeing). I'm not dissing your mom or anything. I'm just saying that when someone holds such extreme views, that they should be prepared to discuss, rationally, their viewpoints and hold them up against someone else's without feeling threatened.
     
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  12. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    I would make the assumption that EVERYONE has a problem with people who twist our words around, misinterpret, claim hidden agenda, etc.

    But it sounds to me like she has some preconceived ideas about you (and your "agenda"), and you've likely argued before. She probably wasn't so successful, and her knee-jerk reaction is to shut you down. But it takes 2 to tango. I've learned this from many run-ins with my own parents. I love to question things, and that's not always appreciated by everyone. But I confess - in part, I enjoy picking at my parents' logic and exposing the flaws, so I'm equally to blame.
     
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  13. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Yeah I've experienced that, people assume I am attacking them or trying to belittle their beliefs when all I'm doing is voicing the truth as I see it. I guess some people hold their beliefs very dear, and any kind of alternative opinion will seem like a criticism, so you've got to be aware of that and not just say whatever comes to mind. It pays to be sensitive to what people value.
     
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  14. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    My dad misinterprets me ALL the time. I simply disregard him and tell him that he doesn't understand. He gets huffy, but I won't put up with it anymore.
     
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  15. OP
    slant

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    I don't think I'm projecting an emotion, usually it is just curiosity, seriousness and interest in the topic at hand.

    And as for the second question: What bias are we talking about?
     
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  16. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Agree with moxie, This is right point of view.
     
  17. OP
    slant

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    HA HA!

    I gotta wait for more rep but that was funny.

    At least, I hope you intended for that to be hilarious or else this post isn't going to make much sense...
     
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  18. NeverAmI

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    I suppose if you were just presenting information, it wouldn't be bias, that is a good point on your part. Although I can see it being interpreted as a bias by others simply because it is coming from you.
     
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  19. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    *This is reasoning that I would attribute from her point of view*

    I think your mom associated your information with an intention to change her opinion.

    Since you are attempting to change her opinion, you are not happy with her current opinion.

    And since you are not happy with her current opinion, and that opinion is based on her principles in life, you aren't agreeing with her principles in life.

    Since you aren't agreeing with her principles in life, you are insulting how she lives her life.

    Since her principles are so ingrained to who she is as a person (Or at least that is how she most likely feels) then you are insulting her directly as a person.


    This is a common miscommunication that results from obvious insecurities. The only real way to solve this problem is to show her that you accept her as a person and love her. Once that link is there, perhaps one day she will be able to do the same for you.
     
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    #19 NeverAmI, Dec 11, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  20. OP
    slant

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    Hmm, yeah, she's verbalized all of that to me before, I'm pretty sure that she just thinks I'm attacking her beliefs which I'm -not-
     
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