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Unambiguous Communication
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This morning B and I had a discussion--nay, an argument--which is still causing me a great deal of pain.

When someone gets angry at me and makes accusations, I'm always inclined to ask myself how much truth there is to the other person's point of view, particularly if I value his/her opinion.

B says that I am always critical, that I don't express my citicism directly but make indirect communication. She has "diagnosed" me as a passive aggressive, and says that whenever I do it, she will call me on it and be abusively aggressive. Yes, she used the word "abuse".

If I were going to say something negative, I admit that I'd be very roundabout with her, since B flies off the handle easily, being a person who cannot tolerate being wrong (she was raised by an unceasingly critical parent, for whom she could do nothing right). That means that very likely I have not always been direct. Maybe even passive aggressive.

However, that said, I'm coming to realize that if a person wants to read a subtext into a statement, they will do so, and that it is nearly impossible to speak in a way that cannot have the meaning twisted to sound like criticism.

Example: Whew! It's hot in here!
Why didn't you turn on the air conditioner?

I fed the cat.
You let the cat go hungry.

I was able to drive the car out around the other car parked halfway into the driveway (bragging, I'll admit).
You should park your car better.

I could recall other examples from yesterday, but these will suffice. Sometimes the problem seems to be the expression on my face. I don't smile a lot--I'm often thinking about something and I'm not a smiley person--and that lack of a smile is also perceived as negative.

The result is that I don't know what to say and I guess I need to stay out of the way as much as possible. When we're in the same room, just smile and nod.

She will get over her snit, but this time I'm not sure *I* will. I know that one is supposed to forgive and forget, let go of anger and negative emotions, but then it happens all over again. And this time I'm truly hurt and angry.

It's time that she finds other living accommodations, I think.

Because I can't think of any way in which (my) human language, with all its connotations and body language, can communicate unambiguously, as she seems to need it to.

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