SEPTEMBER 26, 2007

Oh, but I DO understand

       ďYou just donít understand.Ē Weíve all heard it. As a guy, I think we hear it more than women.
       You know what Iím 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 itís preceded with, ďYouíre a guyÖĒ and apparently somewhere along the line being a male has grouped me into the moron category. Women, hereís a bit of insight for you, and you can believe this if you want to Ė 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 donít side with him or her (usually a her) and then itís time for you to get beat up. The goal is to make you feel like an idiot because you arenít sensitive to the subject. Maybe itís 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 donít 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 whatís happening? Not many.
       Maybe these people donít understand that others are smart and not just oblivious to what people go through. OK, maybe ignorance is a little part of it. If Iím being told a story that I have no interest in and the storyteller is throwing a pity party and I donít care, chances are I will have a minimal reaction. That doesnít mean that I donít understand, but perhaps that I just donít care.
       When it comes to the monumental, what could be considered an Olympic event of assumption jumping, first place goes to the people who donít finish their story and quickly conclude that you ďjust donít understand.Ē Ironically itís often those people who REALLY donít understand that maybe we just donít care.
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