I do my best to step in their shoes and try to understand their their thinking/feeling from their perspective as best I can.
But I’m always aware of my own perspective interfering as well so i try to take my own influence upon my perceptions of what I perceive their perceptions are while attempting to ascertain their perspective.
ugh. That was a mouthful. But yeah. It’s kinda fun.
I find it easier online. Less interference from my own emotional / mental states.
I was never good at the onslaught of input when dealing with people in person. I can handle a few people. Or if I’m charge or under someone (either role), I can handle more.
But when on equal footing, I can’t handle more than one or two people at once. All that non-verbal communication scrambles me up.
But online, where it’s words? i can handle dozens, hundreds of people in a very short time space, taking just a moment to recollect the image of them that I have, and customize what I’m saying based upon what I know of them, while also attempting to stay generic enough for the wider audience that might also be reading now or in the future.
Online forces a more level playing field. People who are expert at manipulating emotions by non-verbal cues will always have the advantage in face-to-face communication.
I’ve developed a lot of defense mechanisms against one-to-one emotional manipulation. One of my favorites is being literal. This is something I think a guy can get away with more easily.
Basically this: I take people at their word.
Do I *know* they have hidden meaning? Yes.
But I don’t let them KNOW that I know the hidden meaning.
They think things go over my head. But this is easier for a guy to pull off generally: I can be the “absent minded professor” type. I think women have MUCH higher expectations on being able to interpret *and* respond to inference and implications.
Men are expected to be stupid so I get to play stupid. It’s useful against mean girls, both male and female mean girls alike.