It’s Not What I Meant

Too much often we come to the point where we say – It’s not what I meant. This happens either because we haven’t stated our message clearly from the beginning or because the interlocutor understands whatever he/she pleases, even if it is in a negative direction… it’s easy to throw the first stone.

It’s Not What I Meant

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By talking ambiguously, you have a greater chance to deliver the exact opposite message, but those who really listen will understand perfectly.

The above phrase is not quite clear, but this is not what I meant to say 🙂

There are people who, no matter what you tell them, will reinterpret your words. This is quite normal up to a point, but if the approach is more of an attack, maybe it is not that normal.

You can say that the second-floor neighbor is a roughneck, but he might not be considered as one by his wife. Might also be a correct assumption, but…

“Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups!” Source:  Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

If you push an employee to resign, and they takes you to court, you can’t say you didn’t mean it and the whole thing was an innocent joke.

Many times at work (and not only) “innocent” jokes can turn immediately into “it’s not what I meant”, but if you do it constantly, you can easily hurt those around you. When they are angry, people say all kinds of things (sometimes they throw even fists instead of words) and subsequently regret what they’ve done.

“Yesterday I was angry and didn’t really mean to say you are a moron and I don’t ever want to see you again. Also, I didn’t mean to throw that heavy file in your head.” – well, with all due apologies, the harm was done, and sometimes there are no fixes.

We are different and that’s why we tend to put things through our own lens, that’s why the broken telephone game is so relevant. Try to do the same exercise with a short story and see what you get in the end. But in order to have an end, you must put something in, but now you really misinterpreted – it’s not at all what I meant to say. Just like that famous quote: “It’s not a car, but a bicycle and it wasn’t stolen, but given away”, or likewise, but exactly the opposite.

The more interpretable expressions and words you use, the greater the chances to deliver the wrong message, and this is not serving you properly.

Actually, you do know exactly what you want to say, but you do it in a bad way or… maybe you do it on purpose.

Good luck succeeding! – well, it’s not exactly what I meant, you misunderstood again.

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