I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

665. Possible Disruptions When Avoiding To Harm

665.   Possible Disruptions When Avoiding To Harm

As mentioned several times already, I consider the Epicurean principle of not harming as the basis of how I want to interact with other people.  I prefer to avoid those, who are determined otherwise like for example religious people, who justify harming by an alleged reward in the afterlife.
When two persons respect each other as equals and are consciously motivated to avoid harming each other, this does not automatically mean the absence of disruption by involuntary harming.

Harming includes hurting the other's feelings.   This implies the involvement of two sides, one person behaving in a specific way and another person perceiving this behavior as painful.

Some causes of disruption:

1.  Misunderstanding of the situation.    
Both can be guided by disparate and incongruent implicit expectations and unverified imaginary options.   
Well meant behavior based upon one set of such implicit presumptions can be perceived as for example betrayal, disappointment, disregard or depreciation by someone with another set.     This is the case for proactive and reactive behavior. 

2.  Not knowing the other well.    
Not harming by consideration is not possible without knowledge of the other's individual resilience and sensitivities. 
The responsibility of behaving morally according to one's own standards does not suffice to avoid, that the other feels hurt by the subjective perception of for example offense, slight, humiliation or rejection.    

3.  Misinterpretation due to lacking trust.  
Trust or the lack thereof has an impact upon the interpretation of the other's behavior and utterings as either benevolent or as a cause for suspicion.   Someone not trusting and feeling slighted can jump to the conclusion, that there really is a slight.

Some methods to avoid such disruptions

1.   Avoiding ambiguity.   
Clear agreements, explicit consent and outspoken options can lead to congruity and realism of expectations.    It allows a rational choice between pursuing or abandoning an endeavor.

2.   Adding consideration to responsibility.   
Acquiring sufficient knowledge about the other's value system, focus of identity and the impact of past experiences enables people to behave with consideration.   Involuntary hurting can best be avoided by knowing as much as possible of the other's subjective perception of all relevant behaviors.    
While responsibility can be regarded as a general moral obligation, consideration adds deliberate care for the other's wellbeing.

3.  The benefit of the doubt.   
Restricting all evaluation of the other to using the most trustful interpretation of his behavior avoids to mistake distrusting interpretations as indicating and even evidence for the justification of distrust.   Acting as if trusting enables real trust to grow, while this does not preclude to be nevertheless prepared for discovering the justification of the distrustful interpretation.  
Someone feeling slighted can ask back for further explanation in the awareness, that what he feels is only subjective and can be based upon wrong premises.

These methods constitute a learning process accomplished by rational and constructive communication, outspoken, direct, blunt and to the point of the matter.   
It is a learning process for both sides.   Learning how to be considerate is only possible, when the one feeling hurt acknowledges and admits the own vulnerability and refrains from blaming, grudging or accusing.  

I am aware that this does not sound very romantic.   But the special situation of beginning a contact by written messages and thus void of all non-verbal information asks for specific proceedings.  

The first step is a reciprocal consent and awareness concerning the options.    This means reciprocally ascertaining, that what each wants and needs as a goal is principally indeed offered by the other.      
The second step is a phase of constructive communication, which can lead to either the planning of a real life meeting or to the decision to abandon this goal.    
A well prepared meeting is then also the moment to start becoming romantic.