I spend a lot of time analysing what people say to me; for a variety of reasons – but a major one is “What do they actually mean?”
People have a habit of not saying what they mean; and I don’t mean telling lies (that is a whole other problem for me). People use proverbs and hyperbole, and I find that very confusing.
When in less distressed states or less “noisy” states I can often work out that the person didn’t mean what they said, but rarely can I determine what they actually meant to say Although common statements that I’ve met before and have been explained can usually be inferred – a thesaurus of phrases in a way exists in my head.
I do often have the ability to rationalise that I don’t want to do what they said; although if I’m in a more suggestible state there is the potential for me to go through with what’s suggested if it’s a plausible option; for instance “why don’t you just kick the bucket” then I will kick the bucket.
If the statement is totally implausible I will normally know straight away that it is so; for instance if someone says “I’m on cloud 9” I will immediately know they aren’t on a cloud, but probably can’t work out exactly what they mean beyond experience telling me they are probably elated about something.
If someone states as an argument “blood is thicker than water” I may just take this as a commentary on the comparative viscosity of two liquids.
In essence, when talking to me it is best to say what you mean in the first place – this isn’t to say I don’t use hyperbole myself without realising it – but often I use hyperbole that only make sense to myself!