Oh, but I DO understand

“You just don’t understand.” We’ve all heard it. As a guy, I think we hear it more than women.

You know what I’m talking about. Someone is telling you a story about something they feel passionate about, you have no reaction or facial expression and it frustrates the person so much that you know the line is coming.

Often it’s preceded with, “You’re a guy…” and apparently somewhere along the line being a male has grouped me into the moron category. Women, here’s a bit of insight for you, and you can believe this if you want to – but guys do grasp simple concepts more often than you may think.

The awkward situation begins when the storyteller is quick to get angry because you don’t side with him or her (usually a her) and then it’s time for you to get beat up. The goal is to make you feel like an idiot because you aren’t sensitive to the subject. Maybe it’s just having a good poker face and staying impartial but apparently that was a wrong decision to make.

While these people are quick to jump to the conclusion and tell me I don’t understand, how many of them understand that as a journalist I actually do know how to ask the appropriate questions to get the relevant information to know what’s happening? Not many.

Maybe these people don’t understand that others are smart and not just oblivious to what people go through. OK, maybe ignorance is a little part of it. If I’m being told a story that I have no interest in and the storyteller is throwing a pity party and I don’t care, chances are I will have a minimal reaction. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand, but perhaps that I just don’t care.

When it comes to the monumental, what could be considered an Olympic event of assumption jumping, first place goes to the people who don’t finish their story and quickly conclude that you “just don’t understand.” Ironically it’s often those people who REALLY don’t understand that maybe we just don’t care.

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