There's a point where communication stops being interactive. I can't say exactly where it is, but I seem to feel when it has been reached. It's not so much about asking questions, as I don't think that's always necessary. You can simply feel if the other person is responding to your rants even if they do it indirectly. What happens fairly often in my life is that there's a sense of sharing at first that quickly turns into some form of preaching. I feel that the other person didn't hear me correctly and that their response is about what they want to proclaim rather than feeling what I was trying to get across. I think a good conversation is based in agreement or an attempt at understanding the other person. If not, then there's no point in going on.
I can be quite opiniated and strong in my views but I don't think that I'm unyielding as long as there's a note of sympathy. I have usually attempted to hold back until there's a kind of silent agreement that one can advice the other in a direct manner. This usually happens after you know each other rather well already and know that what is being said is not part of a power game. On the other hand, power games are subtle and based in a deliberate attempt to confuse the other person into thinking like them.
I recently talked to someone who was telling me a lot of rather obvious spiritual "truths" as if I was a child... when I questioned their motifs they told me that I was on a path of trying to find someone to blame and that they didn't want to continue talking to me. They knew I tend to uncover people's less agreeable sides rather easily and so they used that against me, as my motif and goal. I had to swallow hard. Was I seeing things that were not there? Or was I being true to myself? Nobody can tell me that! I do know that I had an uncanny premonition that this would occur because the person in question started to insinuate that sometimes it's best to just let people go if they don't fit into the beliefsystem that this person was professing to. I also wondered how in comparison everyone else was shallow and wrong in their approach... How people are either spiritual or not... no grey scale allowed in this case. It was also a bit strange that these people were proudly presenting themselves as not charging anything for their healing yet asked me to look for someone in my vicinity who would give me some for very little since I can't afford it. Yeah right. I started to feel that this person was in fact looking for disciples and since they all had to be women and have certain beliefs it was a bit doubtful to me. The signs of a dominant mind were definitely there, as my opinions mattered little to this person. Of course in their opinion, they were not asking me to believe anything whatsoever. Well, that's easy to say, isn't it.
There's a certain pattern that some smart men follow when they want something from you, the woman. What they want is of course either sex or your soul. First they share their hardships to awaken your sympathies. Then they come onto you about your nice qualities. Then they start to tell you what to do and what to think. Remember that all this may occur in a very subtle manner. All I can say is, better be safe than sorry. If something doesn't feel quite right, then it probably isn't. It is never easy to say no and turn away, but it's unfortunately something a woman has to do quite often in today's world. I have realized that few men will be nice and polite when they end the conversation with you, so I don't see why you would have to be. I know more often than not women prefer to be nice but it rarely pays off. Getting all wound up and angry isn't going to work out either. Better show one's maturity, even if it's only towards oneself! All this being said, I've noticed men complaining about women too so I think that more and more women are asserting themselves out there and not always in very nice ways.
I take things to heart so easily, and so human communication is quite difficult and complicated from my point of view. On the other hand I try and watch and learn and hope that if I have made a mistake, I will be made aware of it in a manner that leaves no room for doubt. My goodness, what if I'm stuck in some terrible pattern that is truly detrimental to me as a human being? Yet unsolicited advice is no longer welcome... It's a very confusing world out there and we do need to look after our well being. On the other hand I don't agree with those who never want to risk getting hurt again. In my opinion, life is about risks and chances. Whatever hurts will pass. No pain, no gain. Would you rather sit alone in the same place for years or go out and gather experiences? I know that truly growing as a person isn't very popular and most do take the safe routes. No matter how much I suffer I rather not go only for the safe cards though. For instance, if someone truly wanted to discuss a communication problem with me I think I would still be willing to give of my time, though I have also become aware that it's not always advisable. But that's just me. All in all discernment is a tough topic. Whether you're right or wrong, people are hiding a lot of things and often have an agenda. All you really have is your gutfeeling.
Artwork: "Noli Me Tangere", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008