Monday, November 28, 2005

Either we are all just a bit autistic or...

One part of being human is knowing what the other human is thinking. Another part is knowing that what the other person is feeling has something to do with the difference between what they are saying and what they are thinking. Good salesmen have a pragmatic if sometimes unscrupulous command of those parts. But these parts just fall apart and do not yield the potential of humans to relate and communicate with one another unless the most important part is missing: one's self. Not being attached to what points you are scoring in a conversation, not losing sight of the distinction between "you" and "what you are saying" in a conversation is quite different from not being present or being disinterested in the conversation. It is a gift to forgo projection of self in conversation and that is not the same as a loss of self. Good therapists have a pragmatic and usually scrupulous grasp of letting that part go missing. It would strike many that entering a conversation with that mindset is a disadvantage and they would undertake it only if they had some faith in the kindness of their interlocutor. Training would help, faith is not needed. I used to think that caring what the other person feels was a third part but that is draining when it is possible at all. By not pushing yourself into the conversation you will often be seen as caring .

You can give the other person more opportunities change their own mind than you will ever be given to change it for them.

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