My ‘common knowledge’ isn’t the same as yours.
Meg Hartley via my newsletter, Halcyon Tidings
* See end for source of subject/title quote! 🎬🍿 *
This week I turned in an article that references something called the ‘double empathy problem’, a concept that details how breakdowns in mutual understanding happen between people with very different experiences and perspectives—the autistic autism researcher Damian Milton coined it in reference to allistic (not-autistic) and autistic communication, but he also describes it generally as something that can “occur when people of very differing dispositions attempt to interact.”
Who and how we are affects the way we see things, it shapes our perception. The way a situation is viewed by someone can completely depend on where they’re coming from…and this isn’t always easy to remember.
So much of life is subjective, it’s based on one’s feelings and life experience, my ‘common knowledge’ isn’t the same as yours. The subject quote of this fortnite’s newsletter, “‘Falcon hood?!’ ‘Raid on Entebbe?!,’” is from a scene in an HBO show where two friends get in a shouting match over whose conversation reference is least relatable. (Entebbe, if you ask me.) What we know about the world has only been informed by the bits of it we’ve learned about and/or experienced; yet so often we expect to immediately understand and be understood, which can be frustrating.
Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes isn’t possible without questions, without working to understand where the other person is coming from. We can never know what’s missing from our awareness, we are blind to the things we don’t know we don’t know (something I *try* to remind myself of when feeling exasperated af by others’ actions that I just don’t understand).
So, may we all find the strength and wisdom to acknowledge when we might be making presumptions about a situation or person(s), as well as the curiosity, articulation, and compassion it takes to succeed in mutual understanding.
See ya (-ish) in a couple weeks,
Tiny Buddha – 8 Ways You Can Help Fight the Loneliness Epidemic
The Bookbaby – Underneath It All: Peeling Back Societal Bullsh*t to Reveal a More Whole You
* SUBJECT/TITLE QUOTE: “Falcon hood?!” and “Raid on Entebbe?!” are shouted between Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman in the dazedly clever show Bored to Death (2009)—hope you had a happy April 20th! 💚 *