Understanding

One of the things that people need to have to work together is understanding. They don’t even have to agree, just try to understand where the other party “is coming from.” By that I mean what their motivations are. To put that in terms from a pervious post, they need to learn what the other’s hopes, desires, and fears are.


The other day I saw a social media discussion about a certain organization using key words to have a meaning that others wouldn’t understand. Sort of a code, yet those using them don’t see it as code. A while back I was reading some writing from some “kinksters,” this term itself is a bit of a code, where they used the term “vanilla.” I have also seen the term “vanilla” from swinger groups. The interesting thing is there are some swingers that the kinksters would consider vanilla. There are some kinksters that some swingers might use the term vanilla for. From some other places it seems vanilla is taking on yet another meaning that would fit both of these communities usage, none of which have to do with a flavor of ice cream.


Yesterday I started messaging someone through a social media site. They said they never meet with anyone from the site. Even though we live within about five miles it was fine with me. I wanted to talk more than meet. They said they enjoy “erotic messaging” on that site. I wrote just a little paragraph long erotic scene and they are soon messaging asking when we can meet. I know the scene wasn’t that good and it wasn’t asking to meet. I don’t know if “erotic messaging” is some sort of code or not, but one of us misunderstood the intentions of that message.


A few months ago I was talking with my wife about some plans to change some things. I made the mistake of using the term “negotiation.” I told her we need some negotiation of what needs to change and to what it needs to change. She got really upset. I explained I was just trying to say we needed to communicate in a way we both would understand what was expected in the change. She said that for her “negotiation” has taken on a meaning of one party bullying the other party until the bully got their way. I had never thought of that as negotiation but watching the political situation for the past month I see why she is thinking that’s what the term means.


Again, I say to be sex positive you need to be communication positive. I am finding to communicate well takes being open to understand what a person individually means and not judge what they are saying based on some code they may or may not be aware of. Also, if it is obvious understanding isn’t happening, not be judgmental that the other party isn’t trying, but try to change the approach. You can change the terms you use to something they better understand. Ask them why they don’t like what is being said. Strive for understanding no matter how much effort it takes. New experiences can then be explored. Old problems can be resolved. Lots of good can come from trying to understand the hopes, desires, and fears of the other party and making sure to not judge the person for having those hopes, desires, and fears.

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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