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Thread: Letting people explain things to you

  1. #1
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    Letting people explain things to you

    do you let people explain things to you that you know already?

    like if somebody's talking with you, they mention something related like a idea or phrase and ask if you've heard of it or know about it, and you do know about it.

    i know this seems random but this has happened to me enough times that i'm starting to think it's a "thing."

    i'm experiencing this weird thing where if i say "yeah, i've heard of that" or "yeah, i know what that is" the other person seems to be somewhat put off by it, and that ends the conversation.

    once, recently, the other person seemed extremely put off by it. like he sorta backed away and was like "ok, i'm just mentioning it" as if i said something out of line. like i should've just said "no, what's that?" and let him explain.

    i'm REALLY confused and put off by this, understandably, i think? what could i have said that could make another person have that reaction?

    is it related to "mansplaining" or what? have you experienced something like this? do you just get by acting totally ignorant of everything??

    do you like to explain things to people for the sake of explaining?? if yes, wtf, why?
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  2. #2
    fluctuating Obfuscate's Avatar
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    i don't mind dealing with it now and then... i think it's only a real problem when i have better shit to do than let someone enjoy whatever they are getting from wasting their breath and what they can get of my active attention... if the person has a "superior attitude" about i will interupt or (better yet) correct them if possible... if the subject has been covered before (by them) i will interject with my estimation of how many times it has been... sometimes it is worthwhile to play dumb also...

    i can think of a couple people (perhaps types if you include those with diminished cognitive capacity) that i have given a blanket pass in matters like this... the most common reason for this is that they have a thin skin, but i happen to enjoy/respect other aspects of their behavior/personality...the only other reason to do this is based on benefit/lose considerations... that second reason is easier for me to blow off if i get angry at them or my situatuon...
    Last edited by Obfuscate; 04-20-2017 at 04:39 PM.
    "The vanity of intelligence is that the intelligent man is often more committed to 'one-upping' his opponent than being truthful. When the idea of intelligence, rather than intelligence itself, becomes a staple, there is no wisdom in it."
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  3. #3
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    I think I don't really like people explaining things to me at all. It might be a weird mild cognitive thing: I don't do well at interpreting verbal speech or something. E.g. if someone gives me directions to somewhere, I completely tune out, try to get them to stop as quickly as possible. Haven't they heard of Google Maps?

    But even beyond pointless things like giving me directions I didn't ask for, I find that when other people try to explain something to me it's really inefficient. I'd rather a book or the internet, and then ask the person some specific questions when I need them, and then make them stop talking when they drift off into something I don't really want to know about yet.

    Some years back I was seeing social interactions in terms of what the other person was trying to get out of the interaction. E.g., I think people have a kind of secret world inside them that they wish people would dig for and notice (or some crap like that), and if you pay attention, you can sometimes pick up on what that is, and the other person loves you for it. I remember for a few years I would totally indulge my grandad by letting him explain to me whatever he wanted, asking questions, and making sure I really understood whatever it was he was talking about, even though he was always talking about his days working as a plumber on construction sites, and I'm now definitely his favourite grandson. There's a cost to it, but you can reap some social currency from letting people go through their excitement of explaining something to you. Depends how much patience you have at the time.

  4. #4
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I will listen to someone like my dad explain something to me, even if he'd explained it to me before, because I like how he thinks /how he articulates things. With others, I usually just help them articulate what they're saying in a more effective way, then they lose momentum, realizing that I can explain their viewpoint better than they can.
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  5. #5
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    That is a weird reaction on their part.

    My reaction is different if I can tell if someone is explaining something because it's an incidental detail relevant to the larger story, or if the actual thing they wanted to explain is the point of topic. If they check to see if they need to explain something as a larger part of the story, I just say "yeah I'm familiar" and then they go on. Nobody usually bats an eye. If I can infer they wanted to talk about *that thing* as the main focus, I will still say "yeah I'm familiar with that" but then add a random remark or opinion at the end. I probably do it because it is a little social lubrication gesture, but I wouldn't think someone is rude if they didn't.

    Sometimes I geek out when I learn a cool fact/story and want to share and I might get bummed out if someone says they already know it---you want them to be like "holy shit" or whatever too.

    But if someone is doing this over a WORD? or PHRASE? I have exactly one person in my life who I could see doing that. And this person is a definite mansplainer too (before you Pepe chucklefucks say anything, this is the first person IRL that I've ever assessed as deserving of that label. AND HE DOES). For the person I have in mind, it's an ego thing, mixed with a touch of insecurity--he would never verbalize it outright but he thinks he's smarter than other people, and believes himself to have insider knowledge that other people don't know. And when you undermine that underlying assumption by knowing something he doesn't think you "can" know, it's weirdly off-balancing for them. Luckily I have only met one or two people like this in my entire life, but they are awful.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    do you let people explain things to you that you know already?

    like if somebody's talking with you, they mention something related like a idea or phrase and ask if you've heard of it or know about it, and you do know about it.

    i know this seems random but this has happened to me enough times that i'm starting to think it's a "thing."

    i'm experiencing this weird thing where if i say "yeah, i've heard of that" or "yeah, i know what that is" the other person seems to be somewhat put off by it, and that ends the conversation.

    once, recently, the other person seemed extremely put off by it. like he sorta backed away and was like "ok, i'm just mentioning it" as if i said something out of line. like i should've just said "no, what's that?" and let him explain.

    i'm REALLY confused and put off by this, understandably, i think? what could i have said that could make another person have that reaction?

    is it related to "mansplaining" or what? have you experienced something like this? do you just get by acting totally ignorant of everything??

    do you like to explain things to people for the sake of explaining?? if yes, wtf, why?
    Depends on how well I know the person. If the person is very close to me, it's all.. "Yeah, already know" or "Oh, you already know? Damn you for it!" -
    Cuz this:
    Quote Originally Posted by oxyjen View Post
    Sometimes I geek out when I learn a cool fact/story and want to share and I might get bummed out if someone says they already know it---you want them to be like "holy shit" or whatever too.


    That's because we know each other enough to just let it all hang out.

    Now, if it's a stranger or even an odd acquaintance, and it's not an important subject matter (ie.. work or something) I just let them have their fun. It's a conversation starter really. If they miss something, I'll add it after or whatever. Or maybe even ask questions. I don't mind this at all. Too me, it's really about not popping bubbles unnecessarily. Now, I didn't always do this. This is just how I kind of rationalized the situation into a solution over the years. I think I've always had a tendency to want them to know that I know.. so they don't walk away thinking I didn't know something they did or some weird thing. Realizing this about myself is what prompted my solution. Shouldn't be about me.

    Now, what can bother me is when people are excitedly telling me about something for which I already know everything... and what they're telling me is wrong. I used to pretty much correct anyone in this situation as an almost uncontrollable reflex. Now days I've got better things to stress about, so usually, if it's not something important, strangers and odd acquaintances get a free pass. Just not worth it. Smile and wave. Smile and wave.

    I remember going on a business trip to Maine and going to my bosses bosses home for dinner where he (knowing that I had an interest in snakes) started going on about milk snakes in Maine milking cows and cottonmouths in Florida chasing people around like a B movie. Uhg. Most uncomfortable dinner ever. I let it go. I still don't know if he was just fucking with me or not, the bastard.
    Last edited by stigmatica; 04-20-2017 at 03:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatloveihave View Post
    I don't find you a potential threat to human society, you're not crazy. Feces.

  7. #7
    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    do you let people explain things to you that you know already?
    As with a few people already, it depends. They might just be really excited at the discovery, or thinking they have something interesting to explain to me, in which case I let it go as a conversational starter. If they are telling it to me as if even if I've heard it before, they have a more correct or I don't understand until I hear their particular explanation, I tend to cut them off.

    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    i know this seems random but this has happened to me enough times that i'm starting to think it's a "thing."
    It happens to everyone pretty frequently, it's just how sensitive you might be getting to the approach. In some cases you're probably justified in the aggravation, in others, maybe they are just looking for your attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    i'm experiencing this weird thing where if i say "yeah, i've heard of that" or "yeah, i know what that is" the other person seems to be somewhat put off by it, and that ends the conversation.
    You've likely heard this before, but how you say something can be more important than what you say. If you're always reacting stand-offish (even unconsciously so) then you can expect to get negative reactions. I'm often accused of this myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    is it related to "mansplaining" or what? have you experienced something like this? do you just get by acting totally ignorant of everything??
    I'd be remiss to not think "mansplaining" isn't a thing that can happen... But I'd offer a guy might not be doing it for a dominance play many social media social theorists assume. Guys can struggle with how to approach women, and might think demonstrating intelligence is a good route to take. It's not about explaining a concept to you, it more about trying to show they know something intellectual that might garner your attention.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
    Guys can struggle with how to approach women, and might think demonstrating intelligence is a good route to take. It's not about explaining a concept to you, it more about trying to show they know something intellectual that might garner your attention.
    This is a good point that I think I'd all but forgotten about. Men can fall all over themselves peacocking. Ever been told to imagine everyone in their underwear when giving a speech? Similar application here. Imagine the guy is a peacock. Or better yet, a bird of paradise:
    Quote Originally Posted by whatloveihave View Post
    I don't find you a potential threat to human society, you're not crazy. Feces.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    if i say "yeah, i've heard of that" or "yeah, i know what that is" the other person seems to be somewhat put off by it, and that ends the conversation.
    You're kind of shutting them down by saying it like that. You need to leave room for the discussion to continue or else it could be awkward for them (and for you if you run out of things to talk about). I'm in that situation a lot with a friend. Instead of "yeah, I took it in college, I know all about it" you could say something like "yeah, like [example]" or "I'll do that next time, and [something related to keep the conversation going].

  10. #10
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    The only person who does this to me is my dad. To be fair, he's like the regional tech support expert in his company, so he approaches every problem with the equivalent of "Is it plugged in? Did you know you have to plug it in?"

    The other day a fax wasn't going through and he asked me if I had dialed 1 before the number. Luckily he knows me well enough by now (!) to back off when I said "Yes dad I know how to send a fax. Sometimes at the receiving end it just doesn't pick up." That probably saved me about fifteen minutes of explanation and redundant trouble-shooting.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
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