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Apr 20, 2004 11:06 pm We just want to be liked!
Rebecca & Ken Aspinwall

This discussion has become more meaningful as we go. I hope that others will chime in with us.

Recently, I became aware that sometimes I come off a little hard. Don't exactly know, but maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm depressed. Problem is that others notice it before I do. I guess I should have taken that railroad job when I was nineteen. Then, I could just mumble and the engine noise would cover me up and nobody would notice.

Yep. I do talk to myself sometimes.

I feel like an easy going guy. It is difficult to see myself rubbing people the wrong way, but it seems to happen often enough. It is not my intention to be abrasive or to cause needless discomfort. At the same, I can be a challenge to an idea that seems off balance.

It's weird to be told by one person that I've got personality and told by someone else that I don't. However, my father was an extremely confrontational person and I fear that the curse may have rubbed of on me. I wish I could be rid of it and be the person that I see myself being.

Recently, a person asked whether I wanted to remain on her email list. I told her NO and told her my reasons. I did not cut any corners, but did not act rude.

Wow! You should have seen her fiery retort! She got very defensive, but in this case I felt no loss whatsoever. Her tone was terse, but I was not offended because I knew that I challenged her and you have to be ready for anything when you confront a person.

Anyway Sue, I have abstracted a few things from your previous message that we could keep talking about, if you so choose. Before we go any further, I want to tell you how difficult it is to use the written word to convey our feelings. It is too easy for misconceptions to happen when we cannot hear voice tones that may or may not indicate invective. In fact, let's start with that idea.

Sue said: Everyone has different perceptions on how they approach a given situation.
Ken: Yes, we might have perceptions, but it is very dangerous to let these perceptions hold sway over our feelings or conclusions when the perceptions have not been tested. We should learn to test our assumptions and from what you are telling me, you embrace the same idea. You see. The worst thing that could happen is for a person to jump on an untested assumption and run away with it. I've seen it done and it's not pretty. That is why Christ Jesus was crucified and is also why many marriages have been ruined.

Sue: I believe the toughest thing to do, is to be the listener, ask more questions, be curious as to what the other party may mean before responding to an emotion.
Ken: Exactly. We are in total agreement. Test before making any assumptions, especially if things are not looking good.

Sue: It takes practice but it can be done.
Ken: Yes, but it is worth learning this skill because it will bring about a happier life, emotional control and peace.

Sue: Usually a person isn't so upset at the statement but rather the statement triggered a nerve from something from the past. Perhaps forgotten about.
Ken: Absolutely correct. The person who has the tendency to react needs to carefully examine themselves for the feelings that may be underneath the surface. This has happened to me and we need to restrain the tendency to lash out at a person who won't have a clue about why their words seemed like daggers.

Sue: If you start from the heart ... and then express yourself, as well as you have in this post? You'll be golden ... :)
Ken: Heart is good. It can be difficult, but it is good.

Sue: This meeting for coffee could be a possibility, providing your wife found it to be acceptable :) ...That's just one of my golden rules.
Ken: My wife knows all about my doings and my friends. I also offer to include her, but leave it to her. I don't do much of this and it's mostly online, but I like people so much that I try not too set up needless barriers. Besides, your buddy would be invited, too. Heck, if a person is likeable, I try not to let barriers hinder the good.

Sue: Oh and can it be Dunkin Donuts coffee ??? THANX! Course if you prefer starbucks we can always get both. :)
Ken: Well, that's OK as long as there's not a Krispy Kreme anywhere around. One you've had one, you'll never forget them. They are so tasty and moist.

Sue: I'm curious, is this true? If two people have too many clashes because of a high degree of differences, we then face maturity issues.
Ken: In my experience, the high frequency of clashes were due to not being able to accept others because they were different in things that were not truly important. For example, does racial extremism ring any bells? My dad was both a perfectionist and focused on every minute detail whether it was important or not. I mean the man would hang from the ceiling over every little thing that came up. Talk about a nag. He really put me in doubt about my grandmother. I've been tongue lashed for an hour over God knows what this time. This happened every day of my life while I was a teen-ager.

Sue: or does it come simply from a lack of understanding of the other persons view point.
Ken: It may have originated like that, but the going forward and having clash after clash and never seeming to make progress strikes me as being selfish and immature. There are many Proverbs about listening skills that apply. One Proverb tells how foolish it is to cut people off before giving them a fair hearing. There's the trouble.

Sue: What would happen if the people involved were to stop, take a step back and find out what the core issue is?
Ken: Good things happen when people do this. This is what it takes to bring about understanding. The process of reconciliation is the removal of any impediments to peace and understanding. It takes a mature person to enter into a reconciliation process and there must be a willingness to forgive any wrongs. Sometimes, the reconciliation process reveals that there really is not a problem except in the misperception that needed correction.

Sue: The good news is that we are both striving for understanding one anothers views. As for barriers? They are made to be broken. One brick at a time.
Ken: Now, that's what I like about you. It let's people know that you care.

Sue: Ken, everyone (men and women) has "baggage" things they've overcome or been through. Some learn from it and move forward, others may wallow, yet others may wallow for a while and then say HEY! I want better in my life. In time, given the chance there really isn't truly a single person who can't grow, learn and enjoy life as it's meant to be. The simple bottom line is? They have to be ready or something has to click in their mind.
Ken: Let's hope that good eventually does come. I think what I was expressing was more isoltated to the actual time when the baggage causes interference and the people cannot make progress because the baggage has become too big and it looms over everything.

Sue: Yes, it did appear that you were quite frustrated in a few posts. It wasn't so much what you said, but how it was said, and how it could be viewed by others. S'not to say that the opinions you have/had were not understandable. What I'm saying is the tone of the post ... could be perceived as ... a venting thing, where you were letting off steam etc., thus it comes across as frustrated or perhaps for lack of better words.
Ken: Yes, it could have been a venting thing, but there's no reason for anyone to take it personal.

Sue: You've done quite well cleanly conveying what you wanted to say. :) This was excellent! :) I'm no expert .. I only know what I see and feel. However, this was a pleasure to read.
Ken: Thank you. It is true that my feelings were also running high that day. I do believe that I have some bad days and good expressions are difficult. Maybe I need to take a day off when I feel like that.

You take care. Be fortunate.


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