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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago

Interpret Positively


evaluate possible meanings and choose positive


One of the best coping mechanisms for below average social intuition (inability to detect sarcasm, irony, humor and other social cues) is to attempt to evaluate all possible meanings of a statement simultaneously in realtime, and then pick/weight the more/most positive/optimistic of interpretations.


So when someone says something sarcastic, or even mocking, figure out how to interpret it as if they are still being friendly, and respond as such. This seems to work fairly well, without knowing whether such original statements were sarcasm or mockery.


In short, one method of coping with below average social intuition is to develop optimism about human nature.


retroactively upgrade intended meaning


Treating a statement as positive usually elicits a positive secondary response.


If interpreting a statement as a joke is a more positive interpretation than interpreting it literally (or otherwise), then laughter is an appropriate response. Even if the statement wasn't intended as a joke, the reaction as if it were a joke may make it seem like it was a joke in hindsight, thus lightening the situation either way.


wanting to be and do good

See EncourageGood.


uncertainty is better than negativity


People often say or do things which seem confusing, contradictory, or not in character. There are lots of reasons people do/say such things, and everybody has their own (perhaps disjoint) complex sets of reasons, so it is nearly impossible to reason by process of elimination of the reasons you can think of.


Thus it is better to assume confusion and not knowing something, than to attempt to reach a tenuous at best negative conclusion. Get comfortable with uncertainty, and then just gather data over time to fill in the gaps rather than prematurely filling them with pessimism.



Q: So does intended meaning even matter than?


A: Yes. Because intended meaning is nearly always one of all possible meanings of a statement and if it is the most positive possible meaning of a statement, then someone choosing the most positive possible meaning of a statement will have received and understood the intended meaning.



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