Sunday, 7 April 2013

Analysis of an Argument

Yesterday, I got upset with someone after he suggested that I had been angry with him.
I am in university and it's finals season.  I had to study.  And he generously offered to help me.  He was reading off review questions from my notebook and I was answering to the best of my knowledge.  I expected him to know the correct pronunciation of "Wernicke's Encephalopathy" or "hepatocellular carcinoma" or "kyphoplasty."  Of course he didn't.  Nobody who hasn't studied biology or physiology would know what these words mean or how to pronounce them correctly.  But I have a mental block when words are pronounced incorrectly.  I can't see the mispronunciation and forgive it.  Instead, I get confused and wonder what that word is - that new and strange word - the word I don't know.  I get angry with myself because I feel like I have missed out on something I should know.  And  yesterday, when I finally realized that it's something I've known about all along, just pronounced incorrectly, I instinctively stated the correct pronunciation.
He accused me of being "short" with him.  He accused me of implying that he was "stupid."  I am completely confident that I did neither of these things, and the accusation hurt me.  But what I took away from this encounter was that what he saw - and what was he said were backed up in my expression and tone of voice - was that I was upset with him.
I have very little control over my expression or tone of voice.  Or, rather, if I can control it, I do so poorly.  I have been told this.  And I believe it as well.  I may use different voices, but I rarely put any thought into the voice I use and its correlation to my intention.
My point in all this: I didn't see the situation from the other person's side, and it's taken me over 24 hours to grapple with why.  And I still don't know.  I just know it was an emotional time for both of us  and I don't believe either one of us intended to hurt the other.  Sometimes, I give off "angry vibes" that I am not controlling.  That's just how it is.  I don't mean to be mean.  I don't mean to be hurtful.  I just have a very strong connection to words and find it difficult to understand context when things are mispronounced.