just phyllis

just phyllis
Small Town, Indiana, USA
November 13
Blogging with PTSD --------------- "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia _____________________________________ All works ©Phyllis45, the author of this blog. _____________________________________ Also posting at Our Salon http://oursalon.ning.com/ http://oursalon.ning.com/profile/Phyllis


MARCH 4, 2012 3:51PM

Why Do You Assume I'm Complaining? I'm Just Asking Why.

Rate: 16 Flag

I live in a world of "Why." It's a fun place, Why. Lots to learn, lots to explore, lots of questions to ask all starting with the word, Why. I love Why.

This may surprise you, but the majority of mankind doesn't like Why. Why, you ask? I don't know, I reply. Everyone visits the land of Why. In fact, you just did. Caught ya there, didn't I.

I have ever been a hypervigilant person. I am an excellent observer and I am pretty good at drawing conclusions based on observed behavior. At a guess, I'd say it started as a survival instinct in childhood, and became a honed skill after the rape. But, not all observed behavior is easy to draw conclusions from. People lie through words and actions. Why, you ask? I don't know, I reply.

So, what do you do when you are surrounded by words and actions that don't fit your conclusions? Personally, I start asking why. Why does this person behave the way they do. What is their goal? What do they hope to achieve? And why do they feel their current behavior is the best way to attain said goal?

Surprisingly enough, these questions annoy people. Why, you ask? I don't know, I reply. At a guess, it is because they know that they would not appreciate their behavior being played out by someone else directed at them. But that is a theory. I do know that when I get through to them that I am not a threat, that I am not trying to change anything, that I just want to know how things work so that I can make it through the day, their behavior changes and fits with the conclusions that I am able to conclude. By then, of course, my trust in them has been damaged so that I no longer care for their good will; I just want them to stop their bad will being directed at me.

So my quandry arises when people assume that my questions are actually complaints. I guess they could sound as such, but the eternal question is why. Why is this, this way? A simple explanation to illuminate the logic behind the situation is requested. Part of the hypervigilance. Blind faith is not a strong point in my life. Been there, done that, didn't get a t-shirt. Previously in my adult life I did rail against the fates that put me into these unfair situations. Eventually, I figured  out that the world has a back story and the best way to navigate it was to find out what that story was. Unfortunately, I didn't get, or perhaps I lost, the secret password so I am at the mercy of asking the eternal question, Why. Why, you ask? I don't know, I reply.

Luckily, I have found a few souls over the years who saw my eternal Why-ness as a quest for understanding and were willing to indulge my need for knowledge. As I came to recognize these individuals, I began to see them in previously unexpected places. There are several in my life now, but not the people you would expect. My boss is one. My niece is not one. Which prompted this post. To end the conversation, I had to agree that she was right. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

It was easeir than trying to ask, why do you assume I am complaining when all I am do is trying to figure out why.




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ha. perfect. i saw this as emitting from a pulpit somewhere.
it is that good.
why, we ask.
we are told, lazily, "oh stop asking questions there are no
answers to. "

My response is a snarly (internal) "f. you...for cutting me off
from my own Head, which is what is at stake here.
My mental f-ing health.
NO! my damn soul health! so go
peddle yer papers elsewhere,you
damn narcissist nihilist lazy headed fool."

this is exactly how i get thru my day,
all these mysterious flesh puppets i gotta deal with:
"I am not a threat, that I am not trying to change anything, that I just want to know how things work so that I can make it through the day"
My ex-boss hated that I would question anything and said I was being argumentative. I was doomed.
If you ask a question someone else has to think about, you are a nag! Didn't you know that? Especially if they don't know the answer.
Seems I often find myself somewhere between nearly hurting your feeling, and... hurting your feelings.
Why? Good question Phyllis.
James, you live in my world. The sanity of the soul requires answers.

Asia, you are lucky to be free from said boss. Are you preparing to steal her clientele?

OB, a nag, indeed. Or looking down upon the rabble- that's what I get accused of the most.

tr ig, I don't know. I have enjoyed your company so maybe we have just hit some growing pains. I still like you, though. No hard feelings here. And I will not answer comments on your post after arguing with my cousin anymore. :0)
"I don't know,"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time,"
"It's always done like this,"
are all good valid answers, but my favourite is mom's, which went a long way to messing up my childhood :-) ... "Because."

I see the snake is still hanging around your crocus.
Kim, "Because" seems to be the universal answer that all mothers are given as a secret password upon giving birth. The answer guaranteed to push me to change things, though, is "It's always been done this way." That answer is unacceptable.

Re the snake- it got cold again. It has gone torpid.
Arg, said boss, as I was told by someone who will deny telling me, said she was told I planned to sell her propitiatory information. Really?? As opposed to having me sign a waiver, she prefers slander. Nice...
Asia, that type of rumor can be hurtful to a budding career. Can you do something to cut her off before people start to believe it?
tr ig, because you're a bull in a china shop. : )

More crocii coming up! Spring is finally around the corner...

As for "Why?" I hear you. I am a curious type. Drives people nuts. But often that is the path to information. I love correct information...I'm guessing you do too. : ) There is a finesse to this, though, often a tougher thing to master...
I don't know Phyllis, will share with my broker tomorrow, hopefully she will give me some reassurance.
I've never equated asking "why" with complaining. Most people are guilty of just the opposite - toeing the line and not bothering to question, myself included. Too bad it's mainly associated with little kids. Funny - there's a post in your "Updates" titled: "Gays Attempt Suicide, Contract HIV at Higher Rates: Why?" by Tilly McCormick. The world would be a very different place if no one bothered to ask why so keep it up, Bright Eyes.
What a GREAT post. Not only am I, also, a "why" person, too, but it affords me the opportunity to apologize for a snarky comment I once directed at You.

I don't remember the circumstances, but clearly I presumed something that was not, indeed, true, and for this I DO offer my humblest apology (humble not being a notable adjective that comes to mind when people think of me!).

My earliest experiences with "why" were the Orthodox Hebrew School, where the simple question, almost always landed me in the principle's office for disciplinary action.

Nevertheless, five decades later, "why" is my constant quest to know and learn.

JT, yes! correct information is a must. And complete is appreciated.

Margaret, a lot of times my Why's aren't that explicit, I guess, but the crux f the matter is, indeed, Why.

Seer, the duck equation? I found a you tube video,
that's pretty funny. As to the questioning authority bit- it's insecurity on the part of the person being asked. Which can be h*ll in school.
markinjapan, thank you for stopping by and apology accepted. Here's to letting bygones be bygones.

Going to see the principal for asking Why seems excessive. You must have been asking some interesting questions.
If Just Thinking thinks she can just slip a word like 'crocii ' into a comment she's got another Just Think coming.
That's all I'm going to say about it.
The problem with why is not the question but the answer: Most people either don't know why or they're unaware of the unconscious psychology that is the real reason why the do what they do. Example: Why are you a conservative? Typical answer: "I believe in limited government, the principals of a free market, and laws and judicial rulings that are restricted by the limits of the Constitution."

Then why in the name of heaven would you vote for anyone else but Ron Paul? Answer: "Ron Paul can't get elected."
Real reason: I’m doing okay and I’m really afraid of anyone and anything that might up upset my apple cart.
It works both ways: left or right, up or down, forward or backward.
This is such honest and excellent writing. When you say, "A simple explanation to illuminate the logic behind the situation is requested." I understand what you mean. Exactly. You are a fine writer and person, Phyllis.
Couldn't agree with FusonA's comment more.

In Orthodox jewry, especially, all is predicated on faith. To ask "why" to faith, ESPECIALLY as a young person is unacceptable.
I asked "Why" one time, early on in college. Soon after pretty much my entire belief system fell apart. Not sure that I've ever completely recovered.
I imagine pe0ple resent being asked why they said or did something because they either said it or did it without much aforethought and it makes them wonder why themselves, and as they may be just making polite conversation or doing something out of habit the idea of having to explain it seems an imposition. Some may feel immediately defensive depending on the all-important tone of the questioner. Often asking why - depending on context and again the all-important tone, as in "don't use that tone with me!!!" - implies the questioner already thinks he or she knows why and is simply trying to put the other person on the spot. I usually find casual or idle conversation tedious because few people really say anything other than the sound bites they've picked up from TV or heard from others who have picked them up from TV. I don't watch TV so I'm routinely left out in the cold in these "discussions."
I just read Stim's comment, so I must add the anecdote a philosophy professor told us in a survey class at the U. of Wis. He said in some class - maybe one he was teaching or taking or heard about - the test question was simply "Why?" Students filled bluebooks with their answers. Only one student got an "A." His answer? "Because."
"Why?" implies intent. It's a question useful for social situations. I prefer "how?". I find it more useful for my purposes.
Kim: whaddaya' mean about the crocii !? It's cute. : )
...when my eye fociis I can read, when I cast more than one spell I chant "hocii pocii"...

Bright Eyes: I like Margaret's "bright eyes" may I call you that too? I agree, "complete" as well as correct information is best...which seems just ridiculous to write after what I just wrote...but hey. It's been a tough week.
Asking "why?" is the essence of philosophy. The question may be more important than the answer. The process of trying to answer is what makes us human. Often, we don't come up with the real answer, as in circular or hermaneutical thinking, as when we give an interpretation that may or may not be true. Like, we might say someone is mean because she wasn't brest-fed properly or parented well. There's no way it can be proven or unproven (is that a word?). If we stop questioning, we stop thinking, so keep it up, girlfriend.
Maybe people might get annoyed when asked why, because they're put in the position of giving an answer they don't want to give, which might cause them to lie, which then causes them to feel guilty? Who really knows why? Interesting article.
@Jan Sand~"How?" is a good question too, but it cannot get or try for some of the answers "why?" does. Each has its purpose. I like both.

@Chicken~That anecdote has different versions. One is the student who answered, "Why not?" got an A on his paper.
Just Thinking, crocii is about as cute as cusci,
loti, walri, platypi or ani.
Octopi is sort of acceptable, & gladiolus is a given,
but you can't have more asparagi, no.
Magi is fine, walri is not.
Why ? There are surpli reasons, you'd need a dozen abaci.
Oh, come on...and ahem, my granddaughter is named Ani.
cusci? more than one couscous?
Ani's a lovely name. There's only one Ani :-)
( Phyllis, why did I get involved in this ? )
Insofar as walrus and octopi are concerned, the basic problems of humanity boils down to "us" and "I". Whether "us" or "I" dominate determines a whole social context. Society seems to benefit by a good deal of concern for "us" and the ravages of both society and Earth itself suffer, especially in the USA by too much respect for "I".

Insofar as names are in question, Ani is much better regarded than Anus.
What Jan said.
I was just about to say that.
O look, there's something sparkly !
Oh! Jan comes in with the clever comment : )
Phyllis/bright eyes -- I just wanted to mention how lovely to see your crocii coming up...and asparagii is delicious!
If we do not ask why we might never know why.
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx, Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥
You guys are a hoot. I went to sleep just after 7 last night and warned Puff about waking me up, so I slept really well. I be back when I have an actual computer and not just a phone.

One word to add- hippopotami. And asparagi is delicious.
I like to question people just to piss them off!! ~:D



A wonderful piece that speaks for me as well. I was the "why" kid in the family. Parents appreciated it mostly but sometimes Mom thought I was too inquisitive to the point of exhaustion (for her, trying to always answer my questions). Dad encouraged it despite it being an occasional embarrassment when I questioned something about religion in front of select church members (he was the minister). The hubby (of 33 years) says I can be "overly-analytical" but he respects it and appreciates it most of the time. Those I have met that are somehow threatened by this part of me aren't worth my time, I have finally realized.
I think asking why is one of the greatest things we can do. I will never give up asking "why". Thanks, Phyllis.
So, I just had a bad dream and woke up to strange noises in the house, so I am going to answer the comments with my phone as a distraction even though all of you have already moved on. Maybe I can get myself on the feed again.
Kim, crocii is a word. Logic demands it.

jmac, exactly, they have an underlying reason for their behavior and don't want to be called out on it. Too bad. I need an answer and will make one up if necessary.

FusunA, thank you for finding that key sentence. I think that could have been all I wrote. The rest was explaining that sentence.

Janie, thanks. Maybe they don't like questions because they don't like their answers and we are doing them a favor by asking, even if they don't answer. Or maybe they're just an ass.
Mark, thanks for the compliment. And the enlightenment. That's pretty harsh but seems to be universal amongst religions.

Stun, I hope you are still asking why.

Chicken Maaan, I'm told it's my tone. Not an intentional tone on my part and I don't hear it, but there you go.

I think I like that professor.
Jan, how does have it's place and is less threatening. It can put me at a disadvantage, though, as people tend to assume my blond femaleness makes me less than intelligent and asking how can confirm it.

JT, I like Bright Eyes, too. I'm actually pretty flexible on what I'm called as long as you say it with affection. And accuracy is key, indeed.

Jackie2, if someone gives me an answer along those lines I assume they don't know and are being rhetorical. We make a joke and move on, knowing that we may never know the answer. Thanks for stopping by.

Brianna Popsickle, I think you have reached a good conclusion there- who knows.
Seer, now I know what the duck equation is. I'd never heard it called that. But wasn't that video good!

Kim, now you got it! The plural of -us is -i. Easy peasy. I think you enjoy expanding your mind. (nodding)

Jan, profound.

Jan, Kim, JT, I will post pictures when my asparagii start growing. I have two patches now. One used to be my mini compost pile until the asparagus plant tops I put over there three years ago sprouted.
Algis, exactly.

Tink, me too!

Patsy K, thanks for stopping by. The life of a why person is difficult but worthwhile. Your husband sounds like a fun guy, and your dad sounds like he has a great sense of humor.