John, you’ve really hit the nail on the head here, in terms of the fundamental question: “Does it…
Erynn Brook
92

I appreciate that you are taking the time to respond, and being frank and honest. You’re not crazy. Mind you, I am probably in no position to be a judge, having gone to the shops today and being so preoccupied that I forgot to get half of what I went for. 
To be read with caution…

…that’s why we’re all on the internet, looking for people who think or speak the way we do, so we can bumble around and exchange these ideas and justify our interpretations.

The real skill is in exchanging ideas with those who think differently and questioning our own interpretations — not because they are necessarily ‘wrong’, but to see how they stand up to criticism.

In my experience few people do that. Many don’t even try. When dealing with those of other viewpoints many immediately just reach for the shotgun. We reflexively bond with those who justify our interpretations, and that is maybe a primitive psychological survival strategy, but we need open minds to move beyond our current evolutionary impasse. I think this is what you are calling a brave space — the term is new to me but I get the value.

… I want to explicitly say that I’m not indifferent to the pain and discomfort of men …

Personally, I am no way complaining. I think many of us in the West, regardless of our sex, live charmed lives in many respects. However, it all seems balanced on a knife-edge, and that may be due to a learned lack of appreciation about the fact that the world owes no one a living and so people miss that we are indeed very fortunate. Clue: those in power are happy for the people to squabble amongst themselves — to leave us apparently speaking different languages. It keeps the attention off what they are up to… which includes tacitly denying our potential to be decent, honest and cooperative individuals. That potential is what we need to uncover.

I think that feedback is especially important in situations where the person has stated their intention outright yet their actions have the opposite effect.

Politely ignoring people can be feedback that speaks volumes in such situations… but I would have to pipe up on this licking the dishes thing. When we are personally affected it is natural to get involved, but should we be fighting the ideological battles of others? Ideology itself seems suspect beyond maybe just understanding reality. Knowing how to fix reality, as many ideologies pretend to do, sounds a trifle ambitious and encourages self-importance and intransigence.

… people are often quick to think that certain behaviors are intentionally malicious, because we see things through the lens of how it affects us.

Agreed… but for the fact that you people (in the US?) never learned correct English spelling. More seriously, there are few situations in which people are any worse than just thoughtless. Fortunately, we’re all too self-centred to bother with the effort of deliberately annoying others. However, some do get involved in doing that as their stupid form of amusement. Unfortunately.

It’s been good speaking to you. I’m away to inspect them dishes now…

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