I heard once that we spend about 30% of our time conversing trying to clarify previous statements.
I am not sure about that number, because sometimes I just pretend I understand what my friends are discussing and move on.
I didn’t really finish this book but I read a part of it: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Early on, it says that we are immediately credulous of every statement given to us, while the famed Mr. Holmes is not. He doubts everything initially, and then deduces.
When I’m not sure if someone’s joking, I hesitate, because my first instinct is to believe them. It’s funny how cynical I can be when it comes to other people–people have occasionally said I’d like Ayn Rand, though I doubt that. But they’re basing it on my behavior. And yet, every time someone offers something, I believe them. Not like in spam emails or anything, but to my face.
I am, inexplicably, human.
But people around me misinterpret this susceptibility to confusion I have. It’s because it’s too exhausting to be around people sometimes, so I save time and trust them. I think that’s how it works, anyway.
Yes, I know it’s frustrating, but we have to deal with it; that’s one of the prices of being a social species. And I have to deal with plenty of irritations–I’m fifteen, I’m almost constantly annoyed and probably also annoying to those around me (though I refuse to admit that I could ever be wrong). I’m sorry I’m not perfect and patient like my friends (though they frequently irritate me with their own little or big flaws as well), and if you want to spend time with me and shower me with pointless compliments like “You’ve got such a beautiful profile!” or “You’re amazing” or “You’re so smart!” . . . (all of which I receive weirdly frequently, the comment on intelligence generally not actually understanding the limits of mine, the amazement ignoring the actual stress of my processes, and the profile–that one’s just ridiculous). You can’t give me constant, desperate praise when you’re pleased with me just because you’re worried I’ll revolt or I’m sad or something, and then scream at me when I make a mistake or am confused. So chill out.
As I’ve been thinking, I have low self-confidence and high self-esteem. I make dumb mistakes and I’m sorry and I know it’s my problem, but ostracizing me every time I do it doesn’t solve any problems–negative reinforcement almost never helps anyone.
Especially cats and hawks.