May 12th, 2010

Where being a Water does not help you.

For somewhat obvious reasons I've been doing a lot of reflecting on how I interact with people. I have found a somewhat amusing contradiction. Some people find me to be a very direct person: I say exactly what I want, they know where they stand, etc.

Others have told me that I'm not very direct, that they are required to interpret my statements to figure out what I'm asking for. That I can be somewhat passive-aggressive in how I approach things.

In my head I think of myself as very direct. However, in (re-)listening to how I have approached things with others I have found that my essential Water nature causes me to... well, water down the message.

Here's the thing: I know what I want. However, I'm not always sure of the best way to get it. And I'm always willing to adjust my request based on what I learn from the person I'm asking it of. So instead of saying "Give me X", I tend to say something more moderate like "I'd be really happy to have X, if that works out well for you..."

So this is a problem. In future situations I really want to learn how to say both:

I really want X. This is very important to me. If I don't get X I'm going to be really unhappy.

If you have a better idea, or a suggestion that might work just as well, I'm very open to discussing it and very likely to agree with you.

Unfortunately, these seem to be apparent contradictions to most people. Most people only hear one or the other, and often one or the other message might affect them negatively.


It really is so very simple. I can say it in geek: I want X(N) where N modifies X in some sense, and N comes from hearing what you have to say about this. So please talk to me about it. I just can't say it in english.

It's so very simple in my Water head. It's so very confusing in the real world.
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