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Thread: Letting people explain things to you

  1. #11
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    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?
    That does seem like a bizarre reaction. If you were somehow the cause, then it definitely wouldn't have been what you said - but rather how you said it. Tone of voice is like a totally different conversation than words, and it might be possible that you said it in such a way that the tone, not the words, was perceived by him as dismissive or annoyed.

    Or he's just a weirdo.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I usually let them explain it to me - if nothing else I might learn something.

    Once upon a time I showed up to some remote work place and the guy started explaining to me how I could learn everything out of this great manual. Being a younger version of myself I told him I wrote that manual (really I did, it was a bit surreal). I could tell right there I'd soured the milk from the get go. My bad.

  3. #13
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    I usually let them explain it to me - if nothing else I might learn something.

    Once upon a time I showed up to some remote work place and the guy started explaining to me how I could learn everything out of this great manual. Being a younger version of myself I told him I wrote that manual (really I did, it was a bit surreal). I could tell right there I'd soured the milk from the get go. My bad.
    That's a bummer because that could actually have been a really cool conversation.

    Him: This manual is awesome!
    You: *very pleasant and excited* Do you really think so? That is so gratifying to hear! I actually wrote that manual!
    Him: *stunned and slightly embarrassed* No way. Really?
    You: Yeah! That's my name.
    Him: That's amazing! I love this manual!

    Camaraderie ensues. You become BFFs.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    This probably comes down to personalities. In general I think it's safe to play a little dumb as long as there are no adverse consequences. Hoisting the I know it already flag seems to make people suspicious of your intentions. On the other hand over the years I've noticed that folks don't seem to know I can do X Y or Z for them and I tend to get edged out by the mouthier sorts.

    Oh shoot...

  5. #15
    Colymbosathon ecplecticos BarIII's Avatar
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    I think I'd admit right away to writing the manual. If it were something with me credited in it I might even have some fun, like "yeah, I heard it was very good. I have to see who the author is" and hope the guy notices it's me.

    Something like that actually happened to me. Someone on another forum was trying to teach me something and I told them I have a webpage on it.
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  6. #16
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    I don't think mansplaining is an accurate term for what I have to put up with because women do it as much as men. But yes, I do get things explained to me on a regular basis. I'm told it's because I often look lost.

    Examples:
    today in my philosophy class I started to say something about the allegory of the cave (we're reading The Republic) and before I could even get to my point this guy cuts me off mid-sentence and explains to me that the world outside the cave is the realm of ideal truths. Jesus fucking christ. I said, "yeah." And then the professor went off on some tangent.

    fellow teacher explaining to me in excruciating detail how to use a laminator, and then watching me laminate several sheets just to make absolutely sure that I know how to enter the paper into the slot correctly.

    czech people explaining to me all the things I mustn't know because I'm a foreigner, like how to board metro trains, how to look up weather forecasts, and how to tie my shoelaces.

    boyfriend explaining how important it is to fold boxes correctly before recycling them.

    and so on.

    I nod and say "yeah."

  7. #17
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    I usually let them explain it to me - if nothing else I might learn something.

    Once upon a time I showed up to some remote work place and the guy started explaining to me how I could learn everything out of this great manual. Being a younger version of myself I told him I wrote that manual (really I did, it was a bit surreal). I could tell right there I'd soured the milk from the get go. My bad.
    I would have said nothing about writing the manual myself, just because it would be so much more entertaining to let the guy figure it out himself and force him to bring it up. I think either way the sourness of the milk depends on his lack of humor/humility.

    Actually one trick I've learned for "breaking the ice" is to ask someone to explain something they are interested in and knowledgeable about. People love that shit, and why not? It feels good to be valued as a source of knowledge, and it feels good to be listened to. It doesn't seem weird that someone would get a little huffy about being shut down like OP describes, just a little oversensitive/socially awkward.

  8. #18
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot View Post
    I don't think mansplaining is an accurate term for what I have to put up with because women do it as much as men. But yes, I do get things explained to me on a regular basis. I'm told it's because I often look lost.

    Examples:
    today in my philosophy class I started to say something about the allegory of the cave (we're reading The Republic) and before I could even get to my point this guy cuts me off mid-sentence and explains to me that the world outside the cave is the realm of ideal truths. Jesus fucking christ. I said, "yeah." And then the professor went off on some tangent.

    fellow teacher explaining to me in excruciating detail how to use a laminator, and then watching me laminate several sheets just to make absolutely sure that I know how to enter the paper into the slot correctly.

    czech people explaining to me all the things I mustn't know because I'm a foreigner, like how to board metro trains, how to look up weather forecasts, and how to tie my shoelaces.

    boyfriend explaining how important it is to fold boxes correctly before recycling them.

    and so on.

    I nod and say "yeah."
    I have a lot of splains in my lexicon.

    If it is a male doing it because he can't conceive of a female having my skillset, it's mansplaining, but I don't call it mansplaining if it is a male doing one of the following things. These things are not gender specific.

    Momsplaining/Dadsplaining if it's a parent or parent in law, perhaps even a grandparent assuming you don't know how to do something everyone your age can do...i.e. explaining how to buy a car or how to load the dishwasher or something...when you are in your 40s!

    Drunksplaining -- a drunk person explaining to a sober person how an inconvenient thing came to pass, usually with the goal of convincing them it had nothing to do with the drunkenness.

    Egosplaining -- explaining so you can show off how much you know.

    Controlsplaining -- when the explainer's explanation is an outgrowth of their inability to let go of how a thing is going to get done. (Often misattributed as womansplaining...but males do it too. Usually a type A personality trait. Happens often when a tool is loaned, or when help is asked for in the kitchen...and can overlap with momsplaining. Seriously mom, the potatoes will be skinless whether I peel them your way or mine. Fuck off.)

    Feelsplaining -- a long winded explanation of how the thing someone is about to say should in no way be taken personally, not because the splainee is easily butthurt, but because the splainer is.

    Assplaining -- explaining something to someone in public in for the purpose of making it look like they don't know something.

    Edit: Maybe we can add "nativesplaining" to the lexicon for what is done to foreigners. The first example you gave, maybe egosplaining? I feel like maybe your other examples (the box folding and the laminating) were both controlsplaining.
    Last edited by Sistamatic; 04-20-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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  9. #19
    Member MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    I had my habit of sentence-finishing squashed by being junior-enlisted in the military. I thought it was more efficient to use my quick mind and good vocabulary to keep things moving while my superiors searched for words. I got yelled at a lot until I stopped. I wasn’t a good listener at this point in my life. I’d also pepper my ‘listening’ with a bunch of ‘sure’ and ‘uh-huh’ which could easily be translated at ‘get to the point.’

    As I learned to suffer through exhaustive discourse about things I already knew I got an inkling of how little I actually knew about anything. Even if I knew the meat and potatoes of the explanation I’d usually pick up on at least one thing task-related that I didn’t know. If I didn’t learn a single thing from the explanation I’d at least pick up on something new about the character of the explainer and their priorities. If I learned absolutely nothing at all I gained social capital for being respectful. I’m often surprised at the intimacies people will divulge to me once I’ve patiently listened to them tell me about a banality at which I’m already well-schooled.


    Not getting conversationally steamrolled by blowhards remains a work in progress. My strategy when someone doesn’t reciprocate after I listen to them is to extricate myself from the conversation as tersely as permissible. This obviously doesn’t work with workplace superiors. I find most people with a propensity to over-explain are at least self aware enough to know they have the habit and I warmly remind them that they’re being excessive again and we move on. Luckily the restaurant game is filled to the brim with time-sensitive excuses of why I can’t listen to someone’s twaddle. If I had a job where I had to attend meetings and suffer through this kind of thing with regularity I’d probably go postal.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sistamatic View Post
    I have a lot of splains in my lexicon.

    If it is a male doing it because he can't conceive of a female having my skillset, it's mansplaining, but I don't call it mansplaining if it is a male doing one of the following things. These things are not gender specific.

    Momsplaining/Dadsplaining if it's a parent or parent in law, perhaps even a grandparent assuming you don't know how to do something everyone your age can do...i.e. explaining how to buy a car or how to load the dishwasher or something...when you are in your 40s!

    Drunksplaining -- a drunk person explaining to a sober person how an inconvenient thing came to pass, usually with the goal of convincing them it had nothing to do with the drunkenness.

    Egosplaining -- explaining so you can show off how much you know.

    Controlsplaining -- when the explainer's explanation is an outgrowth of their inability to let go of how a thing is going to get done. (Often misattributed as womansplaining...but males do it too. Usually a type A personality trait.)

    Feelsplaining -- a long winded explanation of how the thing someone is about to say should in no way be taken personally, not because the splainee is easily butthurt, but because the splainer is.

    Assplaining -- explaining something to someone in public in for the purpose of making it look like they don't know something.

    Edit: Maybe we can add "nativesplaining" to the lexicon for what is done to foreigners. The first example you gave, maybe egosplaining? I feel like maybe your other examples (the box folding and the laminating) were both controlsplaining.
    LOL. I could add quite a few more. Like perhaps Religiousplaining. My fave. Nosplaining. This is what I do when confronted with Controlsplaining. They talk about what I should be doing while I shut-up and do what I want... hopefully proving them wrong when it's done, although I'll admit it doesn't always turn out that way. LOL
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