rules of engagement

stuff I found myself saying to someone recently, presented here without context (with some elaboration):

1. Expressing your feelings is fine by me, as long as you don’t demand that everyone nod and say “oh yes you’re right” when you’re throwing accusations at other people.

2. Saying I think you’re being unreasonable is not invalidating your feelings, it is saying: I understand you’re feeling x but I think the way you reached that conclusion is mistaken. (e.g. You might say “John hates me” and I might say “Just because he didn’t bring you flowers last week that doesn’t mean he hates you, it may be simply because he didn’t have the time/money; and anyway, buying flowers isn’t essential to showing someone you don’t hate them.” Your feelings are your feelings, but your thoughts and your analysis of the facts may be mistaken. And telling you I think you’re mistaken doesn’t mean I think you’re a horrible person – we all make mistakes. (this actually deserves its own point:)

3. telling you I think you’re mistaken doesn’t mean I think you’re a horrible person – we all make mistakes.

I wish this didn’t need saying.

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