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wundayatta's avatar

What are examples of hidden meanings you've seen today?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) November 22nd, 2010

I guess some people take everything at face value. I don’t. I always feel like I reading something underneath, and then something underneath that, as well. The things people say without saying them. The meaning underneath the placement of a rock, or a mail box, or pictures on the wall. There are hidden meanings, it seems to me, to everything.

But we can’t pay attention to all that. Maybe we can pay attention to one or two examples of this in a day. Maybe more for some people. What are the ones you’ve seen or heard or felt today?

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17 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think everything people say or do has hidden meanings or meanings they feel they’re good at hiding. I see this a lot in ways people comment on others’ relationships and opinions – it’s so often a reflection on their own disappointments. In my work, as well, I hear a lot of anger in my direction and in the direction of all the organizations that I promised would get them services – I take it all in, I have learned that even though those services have been provided (I can see in my database, via the computer) that their anger is about fear and loss and grief about their situation and their cancer. I can see hidden meanings in people’s statuses on FB, today, because they put one thing but only a couple of us know what it means. And so on and so forth…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

This morning.
Certain people say things that they never have any intention on following through with.
This is why I love straightforward people.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”-Nietzsche

Zyx's avatar

Wow, I was not expecting a Nietzsche quote to back that one up. I think we’re taught lying and being lied to are bad things because it’s hard to see where the line is. But in the proper hands a lie can be a tool for good as well. Great answer though, there’s no denying that particular downside.

Mindgames are a hobby of mine, so I can appreciate a hidden message as long as it’s both thoughtful and misleading, yet completely meaningless.

Cruiser's avatar

Ultimatums are classic examples of hidden meanings where often they are given when facing uncertain outcomes seemingly not in their favor.

“Never give a golfer an ultimatum unless you’re prepared to lose.”

~Abigail Van Buren

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille: That bit of Nietzche almost works for me but the truth is more like, I am upset you lied to me but most upset that from now on I can no longer fool myself enough to believe in you.

Happy Holidays!!!~

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Neizvestnaya -I suppose it depends on how long one lets it go on ;)
Happy Holidays to you too!

downtide's avatar

I don’t think I’m smart enough (or imaginitive enough) to see hidden meanings in anything. I am always totally oblivious to things like that.

Soubresaut's avatar

No specific example that I can think of right now about today, but I know I do usually make myself sick trying to find all the layers in everything.
When my mind’s particularly agitated, even things like ‘how are you’ carry infinite meanings. Did they want to ask me? Do they feel obligated to? Do I be honest? Lie? The problem is I get frozen on all the questions I start asking myself, then start to just question my self and I lose what was actually under the surface as I murk it all up.

But I get what you mean. There’s always more than face value: the bones and muscles and nerves and veins behind the skin we see that makes it all work.

flutherother's avatar

I am too fascinated by shiny things to look for hidden meanings

daytonamisticrip's avatar

My mom shot me a sympathetic look today, I know it was completely fake and still have no idea what it meant.
She went to go pick up my brother at his friends and when she said that she hesitated. “I’m going to pick up your..brother. I don’t want to think of what that might mean, but now it haunts me.
I pick up on small things and can usually tell what things mean but there are some that baffle me.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Here’s one:
“I’ve got to run and get cigarettes.” This from people you know just drove past an axxload of convenience stores, all of which sell cigarettes.

RocketGuy's avatar

Listen to financial analysts, esp. Buy/Sell recommendations, then expect the opposite. Tell me how often I am correct.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m not sure hidden meanings are really there. Sometimes I get people telling me I am condescending or arrogant, or some other such thing, when they have chosen to interpret my answer in a negative manner.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You? Condescending or arrogant? You must be joking. I believe that anyone who says that to you must really secretly mean that they are insecure and seeking validation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I appreciate hidden meaning. There is an art to detecting it and one must be quite skillful in crafting it. It takes a clever bloke to layer meaning into words with the sole purpose of having them spring to life when, and only when, the recipient is capable of grasping it.

My father was an ace at this. He knew very well that there were concepts that I as a young dumb punk would never have the ears to truly hear. Yet after a decade or so of marinating, seasoning and painful tenderizing, his words unfold exploding with the meaning they were originally designed to convey, yet could not possibly have been received by me at the time they were spoken.

I find myself doing the same thing with my teenage sons currently. Planting a seed of consideration into someones mind is often the only resolve when speaking with someone who is not ready, or unwilling to hear them at the time.

Alas, there are also times for simply telling someone to fuck off, without mincing meaning for a later discovery. Now is one of those times.

I think you’re a mental gymnast @downtide. A psycho hustler who relates on a much deeper level than you would otherwise have any of us believe. I mean that with the greatest admiration.

wundayatta's avatar

@downtide I second that ^^.

mattbrowne's avatar

When Brits talk about having a slight problem.

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