Jack Crofton (empathy)

This intervention made me think a lot about the saying “do not attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence”. While the term incompetence may be a little harsh for most every day settings where this can be applied, the idea behind the phrase can help a lot when it comes to trying to understand people.

for example a while ago I was talking to someone I recently met and the subject of weekend plans came up. She told me what she was doing and, when she asked me what I was going to do I said the same thing I always say when someone ask is me what my plans are, nothing. Towards the end of the conversation where we talked more about how I don’t go to parties or hang out with people much, she said something along the lines of “ I almost feel sorry for you.” Naturally that comment made me a little upset. Until latter when I realized it wasn’t  because she was trying to be rude but because to her sitting in your room all day would make for a terrible weekend, and wasn’t aware that to me that is a perfect way to pass the time.

in short I think it’s important to realize that what people say or do to you is not always a premeditated action taken with full consciousness of the effects and you can get a different meaning from the same statement than what the person meant.

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