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Out Of Context November 15, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness.

“We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.”  ~ Ian Percy

We see our own words and deeds in the context of our underlying motivation ~ others are not privy to that inner landscape.

They see only the outward behavior, which is evaluated “out of context” . . . in the light of their past experiences, not ours.

And vice versa.

Makes for some interesting misunderstandings. 

For related thoughts and quotes:  Judgement (Naomi’s Notes)


1. theonlycin - November 15, 2010

As far as misunderstandings go, it’s been a humdinger of a day. All that remains clearly understandable to me is … a glass of Merlot.
Enjoy your day.

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

Somedays are like that. Merlot to the rescue.

Bottoms UP!

2. Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 15, 2010

This topic seems to come up again and again and again! I’ll refer you to one of my earlier posts, dealing with what I have come to call “those pesky hermeneutics.”


We are all destined I believe to be misunderstood, misquoted, taken out of context – whatever, because that is the essence of who we are as individuals. We always put our own spin on things. It is of interest to me however, that we often only notice the new spin when it appears to be negative (or whatever!).

This subject always gets me going, so before my engine fires up and puts me in the physical position of being unable to deliver, I will direct you to my earlier article, and say, “enough. . .”

Cheers! 😀

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

As I said recently on one of your other posts, Being Misunderstood:

The question becomes to what extent we are willing to make ourselves understood by everyone who crosses our path.

After all, while I’m trying to make one person (who is refusing to listen to me) understand what I meant, I might have been able to reach 10 or 12 people who are more open minded.


For that reason, if someone lets me know that they misunderstood my intent, I try to explain. If they’re listening, I work to clarify in an effort to gain “mutual” understanding. But, if they aren’t listening, I lose interest and walk away.

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

Your hermeneutics post is AWESOME, Paula!

I loved every word . . . and I think I understood them too! 😉

3. Loreen Lee - November 15, 2010

That’s why the philosohers are developing a hermeneutic perspective and the study of poetic, or interpretative interaction. I was hoping to have a blog on this, using myself as an example (if there was going to be any lessons to lesrn) but I didn’t feel that the environment would sustain this in a way that I would not suffer perhaps unwarranted consequences. It is easier to analyse and even find fault with ‘the other guy’ rather than our selves, and be irate at what others say, rather than examine our own use of words, etc. etc. etc. As you say, Paula Tohline Calhoun, interpretation is most difficult and complex. I was told as a child, to always look for the best when trying to understand others, but that can be easier to preach than to practice.

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

Seeing the “humor” in our clumsy attempts to communicate helps me to maintain perspective.

4. Barbara Gunn - November 15, 2010

What a great point!! I really need to keep that in my info file and refer to it often!

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

I felt the same way when I read the quote on Naomi’s blog this morning.

Sometimes quotes just hit the nail squarely on the head . . . which keeps us from having to repeatedly beat our heads against the wall.

5. Naomi - November 15, 2010

LOL! Hard being so human sometimes 🙂 Thanks so much for the link to my post, Nancy. Love this one of yours.

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

You have a point . . . didn’t we invent words so that we would be BETTER ABLE to communicate?

Why then are they so often a stumbling block?

Thanks for your post . . . Ian Percy’s quote really got my day off to a wonderful start, especially in juxtaposition to all the gorgeous photos.

6. souldipper - November 15, 2010

Just had a conversation with a good friend about judging others. We ended up in stitches over all the memorial services where judgment has been polished to the point of transformation!

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

You mean when the recently departed suddenly become “saintlike” in the eyes of those left behind?

I’ve noted that type of “whitewashing” on more than one occasion.

It always makes me smile.

7. Joanne - November 15, 2010

This couldn’t be any more relevant than it is for me today… Now for the Merlot…!

nrhatch - November 15, 2010

It’s going around . . . Kirk addressed the same issue on his blog today.

Hello Merlot! 😉

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