Real girls don’t take aim

I’ve been thinking a lot about intent recently.

Okay, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything recently. Because I have nothing to distract me. It’s bad. I tend to focus on the most embarrassing and unfortunate moments of my life until I drive myself crazy.

This morning I started thinking about a couple of moments where I knew that something I said had offended or annoyed someone even though that was never my intention. And then I thought:

No one ever knows your true intention but you.

I have a problem with tone. My parents used to nag me about it when I was a teenager. They didn’t like my tone when I said things. It always baffled me because I didn’t know what tone I was taking and why it made them mad. I had thought that what I was saying was genuine, but to them it sounded sarcastic.

One thing I still have problems with is the word “Really?” I say it a lot, as a way to garner further explanation on something that I don’t know enough about. I usually say it to someone who knows more about something than I do. But I know for a fact that often when I say it, people think that I’m questioning what they just said. That I don’t believe them or think they’re wrong.

It’s painful to see that happening, and I wonder if my tone suggested that I thought I knew more than them, when really I was deferring to their knowledge and asking for more.

Because of this, when people say something to me that irks me, I try to take a step back and consider what their intention might have been. Did they mean to hurt me? Did they not think about what they said? Or can it be taken another way that isn’t insulting?

It’s hard though. Because really, you will never know anyone’s true intentions expect your own.

And I guess that’s why they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

5 Comments

  • By Faebala, December 2, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    I remember a few instances of definitely misinterpreting your tone, hehe. But then again, it’s easy to misinterpret ANYONE’S tone over the internet so that’s really not your fault.

    I’m also one of those people who takes everything personal and constantly worries that someone is upset with me, so you shouldn’t dwell too much on thinking it’s all in your tone. It’s usually just a combination of wrong moment and personalities. *hugs*

  • By Shaun McAlister, December 2, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    Your tone is one of the reasons I like you so much! Except for when it’s pointed in my direction *ahem* lol

    Sure it can be misunderstood, so can anyones, but I find that learning someones idiosyncratic (please forgive me, I can’t spell!) tones is a sign of friendship meaning that less confusion happens.

    Did that make sense? It’s 00.20am here and I’ve been awake for 19 hours…

  • By Hezabelle, December 2, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

    Fae- Yeah, I definitely have these problems more with sensitive people who take things personally. Which isn’t their fault either… So I guess I just have to try to sound less confrontational and hope they can learn to be a bit less sensitive?

    Shaun- I like that idea, and I definitely agree. You eventually have to learn about your friends that they would never intentionally hurt you and try to take what they say with a grain of salt, right? I like to think that my friends know when I’m REALLY being sarcastic and when I’ve just got my tone messed up.

  • By Laura, December 3, 2010 @ 1:19 am

    “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions”.

  • By Hezabelle, December 3, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    Ooh I really like that, Laura! Where’s it from?

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