Words hard

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-07-06 - Status

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>        album containing this post's photo

As a former reclusive hermit I am finding that trying to communicate with people is often a total failure. I listen, I hear, but meaning eludes me.

I'm happy. Pretty much always now. And being able to be around people, rather than forced to hide, is a big source of that happiness. I have met so many incredible people here. But usually when I've spent time chatting with folks, whether it is a long conversation about life or a casual "have a nice day", I realize in retrospect I have completely misunderstood what people meant. I hear the words. But the meaning goes right over my head. Especially when people offer to help.

I have no doubt this is the price I'll pay for decades of being a self-centered, antisocial introvert. In the past I said and did things that made sense to me, but were quite inappropriate. My solution was to hide. The last many years I was happy as a cave dwelling hermit because if I wasn't around people there was no such thing as inappropriate. There was no misunderstanding if I never talked to anyone. And now that I've rejected that as a life solution, and am gleefully going to events and chatting with people, I'm finding that no amount of forceful insistence about being "New Jon" will make my missing communication skills magically manifest.

I am telling you. I'm serious. I will misinterpret things you say to me quite often. And if what you are saying is an offer to help, I probably have no idea what you mean at all, full stop. I am not exaggerating. Let's go with a real world example.

"Hey Jon. You are cooking for the big dinner party in a couple days. I'm at the store. Can I pick up anything?" In the moment, this makes ZERO sense to me. I know how to shop. I'm not poor. I have a shopping plan. Why are you requesting to make it more complicated? Is there something about the dinner I don't know? Have I fucked up dinners in the past? What are you trying to tell me?

See? Do you get how broken I am now? An offer to help buy stuff for dinner is, to any proper human, completely simple and obvious. And more than that, it's the sort of polite thing people SHOULD say. Big dinner parties are complicated. People should, and do, offer to help. Of course. Why would they not? But for Jon, it's a weird thing he can't wrap his head around. Jon is fucking broken.

I understand and think about some pretty complicated things. I'm working on a blog post about quantum monism. I learn new computer languages and technologies on the regular. But it's the simple stuff I fail to understand. I never realized that before, and now it's becoming obvious. And....... and...... it's starting to scare me. I talk to people a lot now. How do I understand rather than misunderstand? I could ask, but that will lead to some seriously odd conversations, where people need to know when to talk to me like a six year old. "You are asking to help buy stuff for the dinner party. I'm confused why you would ask such a thing. Please explain it like I'm a child."

I have shit to learn I guess. At 60 I don't think it will be easy.

<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
Sign-In With Google To Leave a Comment:
<<<<< previous blog         next blog >>>>>
News
Eugene weather
36.09 degrees F, Mist (mist)
Min: 35.02 ,Max: 38.53 ,Humidity: 93, Wind: 12.66
Eugene, OR - Best Restaurants
Eugene, OR - Things to do
Eugene, OR - Fish reports
Oregon road conditions
Recent Posts
- Throwdown
    Moving to Oregon = Go all the places, take all the photos, eat all the food. I didn't realize I'd be cooking most of it myself.
- The in-between
    I've been all about chasing joy and living my best life. Have I found it? Somewhere between crazy/joyous and sane/dreary?
- Mustard recipe
    PNW is a block of ice. Leaving the apartment might mean death. So, as one does, I made mustard.
- Jon is gassy
    Day 6 of Covid. All symptoms have been replaced by excessive flatulence. My fart cloud and I will continue to self isolate.
- Jon is bland
    A scary thought : What if I get long term Covid loss of smell/taste? If I can't taste food, then who the hell am I?
- Well f**k....
    I dodged Covid for a long time. But I knew, sooner or later. We'll all get it sooner or later.
- Best photos 2023
    I judge the success of my life by the best photos I take each year. In 2023 life was good.
Food I Cooked
Old School Blogroll
kottke.org
Home of fine hypertext products.
MetaFilter
A community weblog.
A Chicken Is Not Pillage
You forgot his exclamation point! It defines him. He put it there for a reason, to show how in! your! face! he is.
jessamyn.com
abada abada - twenty years of jessamyn
Matt Haughey
A Whole Lotta Nothing
dooce
Heater, Mother Of Lance
Anil Dash
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.
Some Bits
Nelson's weblog
Everlasting Blort
proud member of the reality-based community
Whatever
This machine mocks fascists
Scripting News
It's even worse than it appears.
Flutterby
Short attention spans in a world full of flowers
mimi smartypants
Seriously, though: what's with the penguins?
Montreal City Weblog
Stupid Evil Bastard
What the fuck is wrong with you people?
Idle Words
brevity is for the weak
Making Light
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
wilwheaton.net
50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong
Justin Hall
Growing & breaking down since 1994
Mike the Mad Biologist
Helping idiots who desperately need my assistance by calling them fucking morons since 2004
jwz
MSSV
AKMA’s Random Thoughts
Ruminations about hermeneutics, theology, theory, politics, ecclesiastical life… and exercise.
things magazine
An occasional weblog about objects, collections and discoveries
Miscellaneous Heathen
Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
kimberussell.com
where it's always Virgo Season
Cockeyed
Recent Trips
Getting it ready for you.