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Ltryptophan's avatar

Why do people who misunderstand what you say for something absurd; then decide it is a good idea to discuss how crazy what they thought you had said was?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12015points) February 25th, 2010

I think it is very funny when I am talking to someone, and they misunderstand what I say and once they know what I said decide to go on talking about how weird what I did not say was, and what they were preparing to say to the preposterous statement I didn’t make!

Has this happened to you? Why not just leave the old thought process behind and move on with what was really said straight away? Are we that desperate for something out of the ordinary to happen?

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26 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m sure McKenna had to deal with that all the time.

Berserker's avatar

Just like the person who hears what they want, one may decide that what one has said was misunderstood because the reaction from those hearing it wasn’t what they wanted.

lulz dramaz

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Does this happen to you often, and with different people? I only have it happen with people who do it to everyone they meet. I tend to avoid them.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I am a cashier, I talk to over 200 people a day, it might happen two times a week, maybe three.

lilikoi's avatar

3 out of 1000 ain’t that bad…it’s probably just what they do.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It’s the Pulp Fiction phenomenon… What was it that Mia(Uma) said?

Do you ever listen, or are you just waiting for a space to talk?”

wundayatta's avatar

It’s different. If you have the right sense of humor, it could be really amusing. If it isn’t a really urgent matter, and you’re just hanging around talking, I’d just try to enjoy the change in direction instead of trying to get things “back on track.”

YARNLADY's avatar

I have a hard time communicating with other people, so it happens to me a lot.

Dilettante's avatar

Got any more of whatever it is you’re smoking?

Supacase's avatar

I kind of do it and a lot of people I know do it. It is mentioned, but there is no discussion. It’s amusing because it is so out of place for that conversation and it throws you for a momentary loop. The conversation is usually something like this:

A: What did you say?
B: This morning I ate a tea and a biscuit.
A: OH! I thought you said, “It’s boring. I hate the abacus.”
A & B: *little chuckle… move along

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


My dogs underbelly is showing signs of spring… Oh sorry, did you say something?

Dilettante's avatar

The square of the hypotenuse.

Dilettante's avatar

Wait a minute…who’s on first?

YARNLADY's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies What kind of dog do you have?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


See, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Conversations are two way streets. But to get them started, it’s best to ask a question to affirm the speaker has been heard. From there, the engagement begins and through the process both people are allowed to express themselves and learn something in the process.

I don’t believe you for a minute when you say “I have a hard time communicating with other people”

Pitch is a Wolf Hybrid German Shepherd mix… And his belly fur says “Spring is Coming!”

YARNLADY's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies He sounds like a beautiful animal. Mine is a Queensland Heeler.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Magnificent dog! I’ll bet he’s got more energy that you and I will ever know. What’s his name and who’s the little guy in the bottom of the photo?

Ltryptophan's avatar

@supacase this is precisely what I mean. Thanks!

YARNLADY's avatar

His name is Toby. You should see him with my 3 year old grandson. They can run each other ragged while I sit in my easy chair and watch.

I didn’t even notice poor, sweet Asha in there (½ Akita, ½ Rottie). She was my first dog, and we lost her two years ago last Christmas.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sorry about Asha. She does look sweet. Toby and Pitch would have a good time together. I plan on hitting the road with him this summer and go on the photo art hunting expedition… so you never know.

I’m sorry @Ltryptophan. Did you say something?

Cruiser's avatar

It happens here a lot!! I never really have that problem in person and I carry a can of silly string with me just in case it ever does happen.

evandad's avatar

It’s an odd situation. Does it always happen with the same person. If so then you should let them know that the behavior bothers you. If it happens with more than one person then that would make you the common denominator in this. Is it possible that you are switching the subject when it becomes unpleasant for you and your defense for doing it is to say they strayed from the subject?

Supacase's avatar

I think the person who heard it wrong tells the other person because they have no way to respond to what the speaker actually said. The only other choice would be to give them a blank, confused look or say (for my scenario above), “Well how do you feel about calculators?” and then let them give you a blank, confused look.

Yes, you could just say “what?” but maybe they don’t think of it. Plus, it isn’t as fun.

Frivargas's avatar

It has happened to me and I also catch myself doing it aswell. I think it is a bad habit that most ofus get into.

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