This is a tough one, really, cause I have been puzzled by this topic for the last five years, and am continuing being puzzled by it without a resolution. I don't know how to resolve this. But it is definitely an issue of me that I need to understand, to fix (if it can be), and to do better without this.
Here is the situation: someone close to you said she was hurt, by you, maybe a remark, a move, something. And here is the dilemma. On the one hand, I think no one can control how another person feels, therefore it is simply not sensible to project the result of the perception — you may make the perfect conversation with a golden heart, there is simply nothing stop it being perceived as a vicious attack with a dark intention. So, does this make it completly unrelated between your behavior and others' reactions? In other words, if each is responsible for his/her own feelings, do I just get a jail-free card to be a jerk? Certainly, it should not be this way.
But on the other hand, one can't be responsible for others, at least not as adults. I mean, really, only you can make yourself happy, or sad, or whatever, no one else can. If not, it becomes a scary thing, because think of all the brain wash remarks I have heard in my education, in my experience working with Chinese elites, when all they were crafting was to lead the customer ← isn't the underline message of this is that fxxx you, I am telling you what is good or bad because first of all, you don't know, secondly, I am superior to you!? This is just, so, wrong!!! But if you speak with a projection of how the other person is to perceive and to react, doesn't it make your saying a form of this manipulation? What is the difference? Yes one can argue that one is with a good intention, and one is deliberately manipulative. But well, how do you define "good"? Isn't itself a subjective matter that what is good from your point of view is, again, a poison for me, because I perceive that way!? Dont you see, this argument becomes circular.
So what is a right thing to do, to say, to behave, to act, so you don't hurt others? and should you care, if it is out of your control, and as being good intention as you want, shouldn't you also avoid manipulating others' perception, even if it is positive (and helpful)? Well, if you can make a positive impact, wouldn't it by definition also make you in position to make bad and negative ones, intentionally and unintentionally!?
I don't know. I feel this logic goes round and round without an ending, and sometimes I feel I'm paralyzed by it. I feel the sensible thing, if at all, is to be honest to yourself and to the othe person, be sincere at the moment of your do and say, speak from your inner belief, and live on. If others find you positive, great; if negative, they are not for you and you are not for them. I think this is the only possible outcome, that people love you, love you; people don't, don't.
I have always argued that love is not given by the other person. It is a creation of yourself &mdas; you make yourself feel the love. When you are in love, any "flaw" becomes a virtue, any cumbersome becomes a thrill and cuteness; when love is gone — I don't believe person changes much, if at all, at least the primary attributes simply don't change (even if you really want them to, you will be suprised how stubborn they are) — it's not the person who has gone bad, it's you who have changed point of view, the same traits that used to be wonderful and cute, now is ugly or intolerable.
So along this line, I think at the end of day, you can't be responsible for others' feeling, you are in control of your own, whether it is love or anything else. You can hurt others, even if you are sincere and truthful, because perception is something you don't have control, and should not try to control. In my opinion, controlling is a far worse version than hurting someone on purpose → the former is lying, the latter is a claimed war so at least you know what you are dealing with.
I don't know. I feel that I'm promoting open confrontation over articulated social behavior. I'm not. I am just preferring truthfulness over any form of disguise, however pretty and beautiful it may seems for the time being. But then, I was told (by urban legend), that woman always prefers the disguised version even she knows it is not true. Huh?
I'm puzzled, and continue being so.
— by Feng Xia