Agh! How do I fix this awkward situation?

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EvilKimEvil
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11 May 2008, 4:15 pm

I was just talking to my ex-boyfriend/best friend (we parted on good terms) and I think I accidentally implied that I had been intimate with a friend of his who, in reality, I barely know! I don't even know him well enough to know if I would ever want to be intimate with him; it really hasn't crossed my mind. But I can tell that I gave my ex this impression and that he may have been upset by it.

I'm always accidentally telling lies like this. I'll word something the wrong way, and when I realize what I've communicated, I get a rush of anxiety and I can't talk. As long as it's nothing incriminating, I just laugh it off and hope to correct the misinformation later.

But with something incriminating/unflattering like this, if I try to explain what I really meant, it will sound like I'm feeling guilty and trying to cover my tracks. If I say nothing, the false impression will remain unchanged.

I get myself into this sort of situation frequently, but I've never figured out how to handle it. Am I doomed to a life of isolation just because I always say things wrong? Or is there a way to deal with it?



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11 May 2008, 7:36 pm

Stumped me.


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11 May 2008, 9:43 pm

I do that a lot. Not sure what to say. I heard a quote, once. "Least said, soonest mended." I hope that works in your case.


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wsmac
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11 May 2008, 10:09 pm

The way I see it, there are two people involved here... you and your ex.

Hopefully if he is still a friend, he will be receptive to your further explanation as to what you said and what you mean.
If he knows you personally at all, I would think he also knows about your particular communication difficulties.
I'm sure when you misspeak like this his initial reaction may be born out of his misunderstanding, but if you come back and explain things again in a clearer manner I hope he can accept that.

When you say, "...always accidentally telling lies like this.", do you mean you may have actually suggested that you were intimate with his friend?
If so, then certainly he should have taken your words for what they meant, assuming your voice wasn't loaded with sarcasm or humor when you said it.

Do you email your ex?
Perhaps if you re-write what you wrote here and send it to him, he could better understand the situation and not feel as though you were trying to 'cover up' a truth you didn't mean to tell him.

From my correspondence with you Kim, and from your posts here... I haven't seen a problem with your ability to communicate by these means.

It sounds as though this is important for you to get straightened out.
I hope you can.


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wsmac
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11 May 2008, 10:16 pm

I forgot...

In your situation, there are two people involved in this conversation, you and your ex.
He has a responsibility to listen to your words and if he has a problem with what you say... to respond back to you about it in a manner of respect.

For me.. I would want to clarify what you said... make sure, by repeating your own words back to you, that what I heard is what you really meant.
I understand that people have difficulties communicating for a wide range of reasons.
I have my own issues too.
With that acknowledgment, I feel obligated to be as understanding with other people as I would want them to be for me.

eh.. I should quit before I drag this out too far huh? LOl

Sorry... but I do hope you can resolve this whole issue so you don't keep on worrying about it.


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EvilKimEvil
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11 May 2008, 11:39 pm

That's good advice, wsmac. I'll see if I can correct it through email. I communicate well through writing; it's only in conversation that I tend to accidentally say things the wrong way from time to time (well, pretty frequently).

Oh, and to answer your question, by "accidentally telling lies" I mean saying something in the wrong way so it comes out sounding like something else and then not correcting it ("Oh, sorry, I meant ______") because I don't realize what I've done soon enough or I get too anxious. It can happen in a lot of different ways, and it's usually harmless. Unfortunately, those times when it is not harmless can be so devastating . . .



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12 May 2008, 12:52 pm

Just be honest.

Funny you mention being misunderstood. I am misunderstood all the time.

I have a strong hypothesis that it is directly connected to our learning words and linguistics from a young age...

But rest assured you are fine. In fact it is a very NT thing of you to subtly imply you are seeing other guys. See it ups your value in his eyes. Maybe subconsciously you were trying to make him jealous?

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14 May 2008, 3:02 am

Two years ago I was in a grocery store at the Camera Counter, and while the woman behind the counter was helping someone I noticed that someone had written "****** is a lying b***h" on the counter. The name was not the same as that of the woman behind the counter. So to keep her from hearing it from her boss, I mentioned it so she could clean it up. After she looked at it and was helping me she apologized for the writing, I tried to blow it off by saying that I hear worse at work on a regular basis and then said "I'm sure you do to". She got a stricken look on her face and I realized how that had been misconstrued. I immediately said "Oh s**t I'm sorry that came out wrong". I'm not sure if she believed my apology and felt bad about my remark. Hopefully wsmac is right, and your Ex understands that the words came out wrong.



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20 May 2008, 12:12 am

EvilKimEvil wrote:
I was just talking to my ex-boyfriend/best friend (we parted on good terms) and I think I accidentally implied that I had been intimate with a friend of his who, in reality, I barely know! I don't even know him well enough to know if I would ever want to be intimate with him; it really hasn't crossed my mind. But I can tell that I gave my ex this impression and that he may have been upset by it.

I'm always accidentally telling lies like this. I'll word something the wrong way, and when I realize what I've communicated, I get a rush of anxiety and I can't talk. As long as it's nothing incriminating, I just laugh it off and hope to correct the misinformation later.

But with something incriminating/unflattering like this, if I try to explain what I really meant, it will sound like I'm feeling guilty and trying to cover my tracks. If I say nothing, the false impression will remain unchanged.

I get myself into this sort of situation frequently, but I've never figured out how to handle it. Am I doomed to a life of isolation just because I always say things wrong? Or is there a way to deal with it?


The way I see it is, if you don't try to explain what you meant, it's your problem. If you try to explain and they'll still don't believe you, it's their problem. I always try to explain myself. If they don't buy it, I think, "Well, what the hell? It's their problem now! What do I care?"

Out of curiosity, what exactly did you say that implied this...?



EvilKimEvil
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20 May 2008, 12:26 am

NoriMori wrote:
The way I see it is, if you don't try to explain what you meant, it's your problem. If you try to explain and they'll still don't believe you, it's their problem. I always try to explain myself. If they don't buy it, I think, "Well, what the hell? It's their problem now! What do I care?"

Out of curiosity, what exactly did you say that implied this...?


Oh, I left the exact story out because it's boring, but here's what happened.

I broke up with this guy 2 months ago when I moved to another city. He has some friends who live in this city that I moved to. I talked to one of these friends of his by email for a little while, and we were supposed to hang out, but then the guy basically disappeared - just didn't contact me for a long time.

So while talking to my ex, I mentioned that I had finally heard from him again and he apologized, trying to imply that I have nothing against his friend. But then, just thinking out-loud, I said, "Of course I don't know how sincere he is. He could just be saying those things because he thinks I told you . . . Oh, never mind. I'm not saying anything interesting."

What I was referring to was that maybe the guy was trying to be nice to me so I wouldn't complain to my ex about him making plans to hang out with me and then not calling or responding to my emails, but I realized this was a trivial, stupid thing to talk about so that's why I interrupted myself.

However, my ex seemed to get really uncomfortable. He said he had to go, and he got off the phone quickly. After I got off the phone, I realized what the implication probably was.

I never did try to explain it to him. I'm hoping he'll just forget about it over time. I don't know if it's the kind of thing that could be a big deal or if I was worrying about nothing. It's really hard for me to tell with this kind of subtle thing.



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20 May 2008, 12:45 am

Yeah, I know what you mean. Well if a few days have already passed I'd leave it alone. If you suddenly decide to explain it now that will seem even more suspicious. With stuff like that, the explanation is best done early. Preferrably right away.