Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

I don't know who needs to hear this, but here it is: You are not good at reading minds. Anytime you read a text message or email as having a specific tone, you are almost certainly dead wrong. Even in person, almost anytime you think you know what another person is feeling or thinking, or see them as speaking with a certain tone or attitude, you are wrong. You are not good at reading minds. You are not good at reading between the lines. Not only are you wrong when you read between the lines, but you are reading lines that aren't even there. It's not just a mis-perception; it's a total utter hallucination.

You are almost certainly utterly wrong anytime you say or think something like the following:

"He didn't say he feels X, but as an empath I can tell he feels X"

"He didn't say XYC, but I read between the lines and can tell he meant ABC even though he said XYZ not ABC."

"She didn't say she wants Y, but..."

"She didn't say she feels X, but..."

"He didn't say Z, but..."

"I didn't assertively and explicitly ask for X, but..."

"I didn't tell you I thought Y, but..."


That's all foolish absurdities. It's all either you being toxically unassertive, you enabling toxic unassertiveness in others, or both. And, if you do any of that, it also leads to you believing things that are utterly untrue.

Whatever you read between the lines is almost certainly wrong.

Whatever you mind-read is almost certainly wrong.

Whatever you expect others to mind-read out of your head, they won't. When you get frustrated for them not reading your mind correctly, and blame them for it, you are wrong and foolish. It's not their fault at all that you expected them to do something impossible (i.e. read your mind), let alone that they didn't do it.

The assertive non-toxic person won't assume you mean XYZ when you say ABC. At most, they will simply politely ask with bland curiosity something like, "To ensure I understand correctly, when you say XYZ, do you mean ABC?"

And, more often than not, the answer will be, "no".

Even when both parties are doing their best to be clear, assertive, and explicit, and even when all other circumstances are at their best for mutual understanding, it is still almost impossible to ever fully understand what another person is feeling or thinking, or what they mean exactly by what they are saying.

If you add things like reading between the lines or reading a tone into text, or otherwise mind-reading or expecting someone to mind-read, then it becomes absurdly impossible that any kind of real communication will take place, rather than the two separated individuals each experiencing their own fictional VR-world of self-created projections. In that case, you are no more dealing with another person than you are when you talk to a brick wall. At that point, you are just using them as the blank canvass on which to imagine and project your fictional story. Whether it's a comedy story, a horror story, a hateful story of a hellish world, or a beautiful story of your life in heaven is all 100% up to you, like when you have a lucid dream at night while sleeping.

I now give you these four sentences of my creation as something you can consider saying to yourself once or more per day every day as a mediation, especially anytime you feel yourself getting frustrated at someone or worse:


They don't think what you think they think.

They don't feel what you feel they feel.

You are not good at mind-reading, and neither are they.

You are not good at reading between the lines, and neither are they.



Of course, you will want to switch it from second-person to first-person when you do this meditation, which will come out as the following:



They don't think what I think they think.

They don't feel what I feel they feel.

I am not good at mind-reading, and neither are they.

I am not good at reading between the lines, and neither are they.



If you can, say the above words to yourself once every day as well as anytime you notice yourself getting even remotely frustrated with another person.


Here is a list of topics about projection, reading between the lines, toxic unassertiveness, and the enabling of unassertiveness:


We see what we want to see, meaning what we choose to see


"You carry heaven or hell with you wherever you go." | Perception is Projection. What are you projecting?


Perception is almost entirely a matter of projection.


Aggression vs. True Assertiveness | No means no, yes means yes, and everything else generally means nothing.


How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'


To have hate in your heart is to be in hell.


Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say less!
(a.k.a. The Principle of KIS: Keep It Simple. Get to and focus on the simple bottom line; Say what you mean, mean what you say, and generally treat others as if they are doing the same, rather than reading between their lines or hoping they read between yours.)


Commentary on self-transcendence, ego death, and dying before you die; with a finger snap more brutal than Thanos
(Contains optical illusions that help demonstrate how you aren't seeing some external reality as it is, but rather are living as an avatar in a video-game-like VR-world being run as an absurd simulation in your brain from inside a dark quiet skull. You aren't seeing the outside world, but rather what looks like an outside world to you and looks like far away to you is a very close under-the-skin movie-like hallucination being projected onto a screen inside your skull for you to watch from inside your skull. It's all happening inside your skull.)




A fun example of reading between the lines, and the ways in which the outer world is a mirror, is this hilarious skit from Key & Peele:




:lol: :lol: :lol:









From a Ted Talk by neuroscientist, Anil Seth. <br /><br />Anil Seth is a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science.
From a Ted Talk by neuroscientist, Anil Seth.

Anil Seth is a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Surabhi Rani
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Surabhi Rani »

This is a good definition and explanation of toxic inassertiveness or enabling toxic inassertiveness in others. A very useful and recreational video as well! The assertive non-toxic person won't assume you mean XYZ when you say ABC. He will simply politely ask with curiosity if you mean ABC when you say XYZ.
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Elindeque1992
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Elindeque1992 »

Unfortunately, sitting behind a screen and reading a message can sometimes be a curse just because of this reason. I know of a few fights that happened because someone assumed a certain tone was negative when it wasn't.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Slayton Natasha Tillett »

Your insights emphasize the importance of self-awareness and clarity in communication. By acknowledging our limitations in understanding others' thoughts and feelings, we can approach interactions with humility and open-mindedness. Cultivating assertiveness while respecting boundaries helps create healthier communication dynamics and fosters genuine understanding. Your reminders serve as a valuable guide for navigating complex social interactions with empathy and integrity.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Kenechukwu Okoye »

I can't believe I will hear this one day. I've made this mistake a lot of times and end up apologizing. When I felt the solid reality of this is when I fell victim to it. It usually happens in online chats but not exclusive to that, it also happens in physical conversations. This is a call to clarity in communication and the exoneration of assumptions.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Gladis Ratish Kumar »

This post truly opened my eyes to something I've never considered before. The insights it offered on projection, deciphering underlying messages, and dealing with toxic unassertiveness were incredibly valuable to me. I'm determined to address these issues and overcome them.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Judith Bogonko »

In such situations, it's crucial to approach discussions with an open mind, assume positive intent, and seek clarification if something seems ambiguous. Clear and concise communication can help mitigate the risk of conflicts arising from misinterpretations behind the screen.
Magrine Moegi
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Magrine Moegi »

Understanding projection involves recognizing when individuals attribute their own thoughts, feelings, or motives to others. It often reveals more about the projector than the person being projected onto.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Sushan »

The insightful observations made about misinterpretation in communication, the fallacy of projection, and toxic unassertiveness offer a profound lens through which to examine the complexities of human interaction, especially in the context of today's pervasive social media use. By drawing on examples and insights from human psychology, we can further illuminate how these themes manifest in our digital interactions and the implications they have for our understanding of ourselves and others.

The digital landscape of social media, with its reliance on text-based communication, emojis, and ephemeral content, significantly amplifies the potential for misinterpretation. Without the benefit of non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language, users are often left to infer the emotional context of messages. This scenario is ripe for the kind of misinterpretation highlighted in the post. For example, a comment intended as sarcastic could easily be perceived as genuine praise or vice versa, leading to confusion and potential conflict. The psychology behind this phenomenon is rooted in the theory of mind—the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others. In the absence of direct cues, our brains attempt to fill in the gaps, often relying on our biases and past experiences, which can distort the intended message.

Social media platforms become echo chambers where the fallacy of projection is magnified. Users often project their values, beliefs, and emotional states onto others, interpreting posts and comments through the lens of their personal experiences and biases. This can lead to a distorted understanding of others' intentions and feelings. For instance, someone feeling vulnerable or insecure might interpret a friend's vacation photos as a boastful display of a perfect life, rather than a simple sharing of joyful moments. The psychological concept of projection explains this tendency to externalize one's internal feelings or thoughts onto others, often as a defense mechanism to cope with uncomfortable emotions. Social media, with its curated personas and highlight reels, serves as a fertile ground for such projections, exacerbating misunderstandings and feelings of inadequacy among users.

The critique of toxic unassertiveness finds a parallel in social media interactions, where passive communication styles can lead to frustration and resentment. For example, 'sub tweeting' or 'vague booking'—posting vague statuses or tweets aimed at someone without mentioning them directly—are common manifestations of toxic unassertiveness on social media. These practices reflect an unwillingness or inability to address issues directly, expecting others to decipher the hidden messages or feelings behind the posts. This not only hinders effective communication but also contributes to a culture of indirectness and avoidance, which can strain relationships. From a psychological perspective, such behavior may stem from a fear of confrontation or rejection, yet it ultimately undermines the authenticity and depth of our social connections.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

I just shared a post on Facebook and a post on Twitter (a.k.a. X) about this. Please share both to help get this helpful happiness-spreading information out there. :)
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Surabhi Rani
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Surabhi Rani »

These thoughts seem to be the outcome of a close observation and analysis of life events. We are not good at reading minds. Also, we are not good at reading between the lines. We read lines that aren't even there and are in a state of hallucination. We are not seeing the external reality as it is. For real communication to take place, we should say what we mean, mean what we say, and treat others as if they are doing the same.
Adam Bryce Stern
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Adam Bryce Stern »

Humans need to know this. You don't know, neither do you have the slightest idea what a person has in mind or what he is going through. So trying to dive into conclusions solely based on your assumption or the tone you feel the person used to passed his message is extremely wrong.
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by CrisX »

Indeed. Some people have great empathy and they can relate better with others. To some extent.
WAJIDA
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by WAJIDA »

This topic is quite interesting. Indeed, people who are in hurry and juggle between multiple conversations are likely to read between lines and often misinterpret the message. It has become quite normal these days.
Sean Pratrick Tracy
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Re: Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness

Post by Sean Pratrick Tracy »

I always discover this when people judge my mind based on the tone I used, which makes them wrong about my mind often. However, maintaining eye contact for facial expression helps to some extent.
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