It has taken me a while to realize this, but apparently when I say certain things, what people hear is different. For example:

What I say: What they hear:
1. "In a moment." "In a few minutes."
2. "In a minute." "In several minutes."
3. "In a few minutes." "...When I get around to it."
4. "I'll be leaving soon." "I'm leaving right now."
5. "I need to go now." "I should probably think about heading out in half an hour or so."
6. "I'd like a few." "I'd like one or two."
7. [In response to "How are you?"]
"Surviving."/"Alive."
"I'm good." (Or even "I'm great!")
8. "I don't remember that." "I doubt that happened."
9. "I don't know." "Perhaps you should nag me for a while and try to push me into committing to an answer."
10. "I think there's a better way to do it." "I think that's a bad idea and you're dumb."

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating at least a little on the last two.

Regarding the first three: While I acknowledge that sometimes I take longer than I intended to, generally I do say what I mean.

Regarding number eight: When I say I don't remember something it never means I'm doubting it, it only means I don't remember the event or issue.

I will admit that the "surviving" response is intended to be a non-committal answer, and while I still mean it, it doesn't necessarily mean exactly what I said.

Why can't people just take me—and others—at their word? Almost as frustrating is when I encounter essentially the same problem in reverse when I'm interacting with other people; I'm very literal minded and usually take what people say literally when they're actually being non-specific and vague in their answers.

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