17 votes

What's something that people commonly misunderstand about you?

Whether it's a personality trait you have, an experience you've been through, or a way that you "come across" to others, or something else entirely, what's something that people commonly misunderstand about you? Why do you think that happens? How do you feel or respond when you're made aware of it?

23 comments

  1. [5]
    SleepyGary
    (edited )
    Link
    There is not insignificant amount of people in my city/province that are racist towards aboriginals and there are a lot of people that are extremely causal about it around me. Both sides of my...

    There is not insignificant amount of people in my city/province that are racist towards aboriginals and there are a lot of people that are extremely causal about it around me. Both sides of my family are Metis but I am one of the few in my family that isn't recognizably First Nations, you'd never question that my sister and I are siblings but if you met my sister separately you'd assume she was native where as I'm borderline ginger in hair colour and ability to keep a tan.

    When I call out someone for being racist initially they usually laugh it off when I tell them I am aboriginal, they think it's a joke.

    15 votes
    1. [4]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I’m kinda of a light skinned black dude. I used to hang with a “woke” university crowd. One of them told me once “but @mrbig, you’re barely black!” (as a compliment). I looked him in the eye,...

      I’m kinda of a light skinned black dude. I used to hang with a “woke” university crowd. One of them told me once “but @mrbig, you’re barely black!” (as a compliment). I looked him in the eye, fully recognizing what he had just done, and said (ironically): “THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU MADE MY DAY!”.

      I never saw a white dude get so red.

      He was a history major...

      12 votes
      1. [3]
        SleepyGary
        Link Parent
        When I was in high school there is literally 1 black family in my entire town (~3500 pop). I worked with one of the older brothers and was in school with, but a grade or two higher than, a younger...

        When I was in high school there is literally 1 black family in my entire town (~3500 pop). I worked with one of the older brothers and was in school with, but a grade or two higher than, a younger brother Jamal so I didn't speak to him much but we were friendly. After I had moved away for university I was back for Christmas break, I saw Jamal at the bar and said "Hey Jamal! How's it going?" He looked at me disgusted and replied "My name is Jamie". It then dawned on me that I never used his name before in conversation and I had picked up his name from the "cool" kids on the basketball team that call him that. I wanted to go find a corner to die in.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          Honest mistake. Don’t beat yourself up!

          Honest mistake. Don’t beat yourself up!

          2 votes
          1. SleepyGary
            Link Parent
            Haha I know, it's still something that makes me oof when I randomly think about it though.

            Haha I know, it's still something that makes me oof when I randomly think about it though.

            3 votes
  2. suspended
    Link
    People that do not, intimately, know me believe that I am a religious person. They just met me and don't know enough detail, yet. Many years ago I would become offended and confused. Now, having...

    what's something that people commonly misunderstand about you?

    People that do not, intimately, know me believe that I am a religious person.

    Why do you think that happens?

    They just met me and don't know enough detail, yet.

    How do you feel or respond when you're made aware of it?

    Many years ago I would become offended and confused. Now, having been through this multiple times, I can easily give people the benefit of the doubt and move on from there.

    To expand upon my particular situation, I often engage people on what they believe or what they have been raised to believe. To be brief, that often leads into further conversations where I explain that I was raised in an evangelical Christian home. On the other hand, during that time, I was an agnostic atheist.

    Years later, I had experiences that changed my beliefs to an agnostic theist.

    So, I'm still not a religious person.

    I just have a different worldview as a result of paranormal experiences.

    9 votes
  3. [2]
    NeonHippy
    Link
    I am very quiet, and many people simply assume that I'm snobbish. I'm not, I am simply timid - especially when I meet someone for the first time. I truly don't know how to interact with strangers,...

    I am very quiet, and many people simply assume that I'm snobbish. I'm not, I am simply timid - especially when I meet someone for the first time. I truly don't know how to interact with strangers, though there are some people who make me feel at ease during certain social situations (like when paying for purchases and the cashier is super friendly). I'm just socially awkward, not stuck up!

    8 votes
    1. the_funky_buddha
      Link Parent
      Same here and thinking that people might think this makes my anxiety even worse.

      Same here and thinking that people might think this makes my anxiety even worse.

      1 vote
  4. [7]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm usually introverted. I'm comfortable with silence. This doesn't mean I'm judging people or that I´m pissed off. Besides, I have difficulty understanding group dynamics. I must listen for a...

    I'm usually introverted. I'm comfortable with silence. This doesn't mean I'm judging people or that I´m pissed off.

    Besides, I have difficulty understanding group dynamics. I must listen for a long time and use logical thinking in order to know what can and cannot be said in a social situation (and maybe more importantly, how these things must be said). Most people take that knowledge for granted. It comes naturally for them. If I talk too soon, there's a great chance that I will say nonsensical stuff that might seem egregious for that group. Some times there are no second chances. So, there are groups of people that believe I am dumb, rude, racist, or misogynistic. I believe people that don't get nuance and don't give second chances are probably not people I wanna be around anyway, but I know that this hurt me in the past and might hurt me in the future. So I learned to shut my mouth for a while.

    It doesn't help that I have a very dark and anarchic sense of humor that takes some time to get.

    People also misunderstand me because I like to make my points in a logical and unemotional fashion, especially when I am involved in a very complicated conflict. My deliberate demeanor is frequently misread as coldness. This is particularly problematic in romantic relationships.

    My tendency to make arguments in a logical and complete fashion makes me seem pedantic when I just want to be precise.

    My need to make long-form arguments also led me to be wrongfully accused of "mansplaining", which is a very interesting circumstance to be in because if you further explain that the interlocutor used "mansplaining" incorrectly you'll always appear even more guilty of the accusation :P

    6 votes
    1. [6]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      After witnessing myself go through these same motions more than a thousand times, I took an Autism-Spectrum Quotient test. Out of 50 possible points, I scored 33, which indicates "severe autistic...

      After witnessing myself go through these same motions more than a thousand times, I took an Autism-Spectrum Quotient test. Out of 50 possible points, I scored 33, which indicates "severe autistic tendencies", or something like that.

      The number doesn't feel correct to me, but it does confirm some of the suspicions I've had for a while: that it's not just that I'm different in a conventional way, it's that I have a different mental architecture. People tend to think I'm either interesting or weird because of that.

      I talk a lot if there's verbal space. I can talk for hours. Most people don't appreciate it – I've been told at least once I "always have something to say" in a derogatory manner – and in a social situation it's nobody's prime right to choose how everyone should handle the conversation. I stay in the company of people who accept my manner of conversation – or, better yet, participate in it with interest, which is always the goal – and leave those that don't.

      It's why I prefer self-centric platforms – blogs, social network "walls" or feeds, Twitter: if you don't like what I talk about or how, I don't have to consider your opinion. The Web enables me this way: I can express myself without the fear of being shunned because it's my platform, and as long as I don't operate in malicious fashion – which I have very strict objections to – you don't get a say in this.

      5 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm yet to find a test in which I am not autistic. At the same time, ADHD, which I have, can be misidentified as autism. There are no mental health professionals in my region capacitated to...

        I'm yet to find a test in which I am not autistic. At the same time, ADHD, which I have, can be misidentified as autism. There are no mental health professionals in my region capacitated to diagnose adults, and the ones I found elsewhere are extremely expensive (I would also have to pay for the travel). Besides, there's no pill for autism, so I figured I would spend money I don't have to get a useless diagnosis.

        I now consider myself "culturally identified" with the autism spectrum. I can read books about it and make use of them regardless of a diagnostic.

        3 votes
      2. [4]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        I've always scored high on those online autism tests. I don't think we can trust the narrator for these sorts of things.

        I've always scored high on those online autism tests. I don't think we can trust the narrator for these sorts of things.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          There are lots of minutiae that only a trained professional can evaluate. Ideally, something as complex as autism should probably go through more than one professional and multiple appointments....

          There are lots of minutiae that only a trained professional can evaluate. Ideally, something as complex as autism should probably go through more than one professional and multiple appointments.

          In my case, my psychologist told me it was possible for me to be in the spectrum, but she could not give me an actual diagnostics. And I don't have the means to go to a specialist. I have read books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction, and the similarities are clear and strong. But I'm no doctor.

          4 votes
        2. [2]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Why not?

          Why not?

          1 vote
          1. tomf
            Link Parent
            People put too much weight in them. At best they're valid for screening, but often people give them more weight than they deserve. This story (and the book) from This American Life is pretty...

            People put too much weight in them. At best they're valid for screening, but often people give them more weight than they deserve.

            This story (and the book) from This American Life is pretty great. I related to the guy with some things and ended up scoring high on the test mentioned.

            I've done this a few times with friends. When we discuss the questions, I found that most were quick to recall negative memories instead of experiences that were positive where they didn't exhibit the negative behaviors mentioned in the test.

            4 votes
  5. [3]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Read @mrbig's comment, and you'll get a clear picture of how I appear to others. The solitude, the quiet, the nuanced consideration that sometimes comes off as out-of-the-left-field, the apparent...

    Read @mrbig's comment, and you'll get a clear picture of how I appear to others. The solitude, the quiet, the nuanced consideration that sometimes comes off as out-of-the-left-field, the apparent pedanticity... All signs of a different mental architecture that appears inaccessible to others.

    That's one thing people misunderstand about me: I'm ready to answer the questions they have, because I'm eager to provide explanations and clear the air. I don't like not understanding what others are thinking – it confuses me and disables further conversation in any meaningful way – so I respond by profoundly giving clarity, requested or not.

    One thing I don't understand about others is the lack of consideration an awful lot of the time. Instead of seeking to find out more about something they don't understand, oh so many people react in a knee-jerk fashion to one spot of contradictory detail they saw in the whole of the context, acting like it is the whole context and I must be accusing them or the thing they're attached to of something bad. The unfortunate part about seeing it so often is that I've also become somewhat conditioned to respond in the same manner, especially in public forums and especially when I'm stressed. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's something I recognize: conditioning is a thing, and the atmosphere you spend your time in matters a lot in the long run.

    I try to learn from others as much as I can: the new perspective is invaluable and satisfying. It's why I ask so many questions whenever there's opportunity. Apparently, it freaks some people out... Oh well. The alternative would be to cease being curious, and I'm still self-centered enough to give that the middle finger and keep asking. At worst I'm gonna put some distance me and the other person, and it's not something that scares me anymore. I just want understanding and connection; that's all it's ever been about.

    Then there's the talking part.

    I talk a lot, vocally and in writing. I have a lot to express, with genuine interest and in detail. Paragraphs upon paragraphs, even in the media that aren't at all accustomed to such an expression. It's uncommon but not unexpected to get the response of "u have graphomania" on Reddit. Bitch, that didn't even take effort to write. You really wanna shame me with something I find as easy as breathing?

    It's not obsessive self-expression: I'm perfectly capable of shutting the hell up when the situation calls for it. I do, however, have a need to let my thoughts into the light of day. I may give you a handful of back-justifications about why I do this, but the need is there regardless. It's why I've had several blogs, it's why my social network feed is chock-full of stuff I find valuable to share, and it's why I'm working on things like Mythos. It's why I write, it's why I make fictional worlds, it's why I make mods for games I like, it's why I engage in photography... Overwhelming self-expression that has to come out, one way or another.

    (I have a special relationship with language and speech, but that's a topic for another conversation.)

    I understand that others may not like it. It's why I leave places that don't appreciate me being me in this capacity. I don't get to dictate the conduct of the social situation unless the situation is mine to reign. At the same time, I don't have to – shouldn't, really – stay where I'm not appreciated. Oddly enough, Reddit has been a place of, on average, more positive interactions for me.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I can relate to this strongly. I frequently comment at length, and back when I was on reddit I'd get a ton of dismissive one-liners ("tl;dr") as a response. There was a large subset of the...

      I talk a lot, vocally and in writing. I have a lot to express, with genuine interest and in detail. Paragraphs upon paragraphs, even in the media that aren't at all accustomed to such an expression. It's uncommon but not unexpected to get the response of "u have graphomania" on Reddit.

      I can relate to this strongly. I frequently comment at length, and back when I was on reddit I'd get a ton of dismissive one-liners ("tl;dr") as a response. There was a large subset of the community that was only comfortable with irreverence and a lack of effort. Any post that ran counter to that was seen as worthy of scorn, and being on the receiving end of that got really old, really fast. I'm very grateful that the Tildes community isn't allergic to long reads. I feel comfortable to comment here in a manner that's genuine to me.

      2 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        To be fair: Maybe half of my longer comments in /r/dota2 got this reaction. Others have resulted in conversations. Some of my best-valued (upvoted or gilded) comments are long and have been called...

        To be fair:

        Maybe half of my longer comments in /r/dota2 got this reaction. Others have resulted in conversations.

        Some of my best-valued (upvoted or gilded) comments are long and have been called "insightful" or equivalent of that.

        Tildes is very different from Reddit, in this respect. Not only have I never gotten a "this shit too long", many of my long-ass comments got voted high or Exemplary'd. It's part of this place's atmosphere that encourages discussion and understanding.

        2 votes
  6. krg
    Link
    I'm pretty sure I have "resting asshole face." When people ask if I'm angry I tell them "no, I'm just ugly." that may have happened only once.

    I'm pretty sure I have "resting asshole face." When people ask if I'm angry I tell them "no, I'm just ugly." that may have happened only once.

    4 votes
  7. modern_prometheus
    Link

    Has he lost his mind?
    Can he see or is he blind?
    Can he walk at all
    Or if he moves will he fall?

    Is he alive or dead?
    Has he thoughts within his head?
    We'll just pass him there
    Why should we even care?

    2 votes
  8. Five
    Link
    People underestimate my intelligence do to me not being great with typing and writing, I can only really explain something properly if I’m talking or demonstrating so life on the internet can be hard.

    People underestimate my intelligence do to me not being great with typing and writing, I can only really explain something properly if I’m talking or demonstrating so life on the internet can be hard.

    2 votes
  9. vegai
    Link
    People frequently think I hate them when they meet me for the first couple of times. It's possible that I don't care but hate? Naah. I need to know a person to hate them.

    People frequently think I hate them when they meet me for the first couple of times. It's possible that I don't care but hate? Naah. I need to know a person to hate them.

    2 votes
  10. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I try to default to thinking for myself and don't particularly care for tradition as a reason to do something. As a result, I'm not a big believer in chivalry and traditional ideas of romance....

    I try to default to thinking for myself and don't particularly care for tradition as a reason to do something. As a result, I'm not a big believer in chivalry and traditional ideas of romance. Very many people seem to take this as me being a cold, robotic slave to logic and probably being borderline abusive in my relationships. I frequently have the experience of someone coming up to me and saying they heard from someone else that I believe something outlandish, and then when we actually talk about it, they go, "OK, that makes sense." I always tell them not to trust the tabloids.

    I figure it's more a them thing than a me thing, so I don't particularly care too much either way.

    2 votes