How Readily Can You See The Other Person’s Side?

tamalesDriving my husband to work this morning, he asked if I saw the look on my son’s friend’s face when, Vid asked him a question with an obvious answer.

The answer was only obvious if you were Quirky though.  Quirky is Mexican and the question was along the lines of, have you ever eaten a tamale?

“He looked at him like, are you kidding me?”

“He did.  But, Vid doesn’t know that. How would he know, so he’s asking.”

“People just can’t believe a person wouldn’t know that. Something they grew up with that has been part of their life since they were born. It’s why I thought what I thought about you when we met as kids. I thought you knew what I knew.”

“I understand but here’s what kills me:  You tell someone you don’t know something and they don’t believe you.  I say, I grew up without a TV and then they asked me if I saw some show. I say I grew up without a phone and they ask me who I called.  What the hell is that?”

“People can’t believe you don’t know what they know.”

“I understand,” I said, aware he could not see my side which is usual.  “But I tell them I don’t know what they know, I explain why I don’t know what they know and they go right back to their own reality in an instant. They just can’t fathom another person’s life experience is remote from their own…”

Yesterday the kids were talking about school lunches; what they liked and didn’t like. My husband recalled what he liked when he was a kid and asked me what I liked.

“We didn’t have school lunch in my family, we couldn’t afford it.”

“You brought your lunch?”

“No, we didn’t have lunch,” I said. ‘No lunch, we pretended we had lunch.” He looked at me blankly so I explained. “I got in the line for school lunch with the rest of the kids and then when I got close to the front of the line, I said I had to go to the restroom or something. So I’d leave and then I’d come back and join the table as other kids were finishing eating and try to blend in.”

“You should have said something, P. They’d have fed you if you’d have said something.”

“I don’t know. But what I do know is I have no problem seeing another person’s life is not like mine but see that most people can’t see another person’s experience is remote from theirs to save their life…”

When my husband and talk about this I generally chalk this up to having Libra in my chart. It is very easy for Mercury in Libra in the 9th to understand another person’s perspective but as of this morning I think there is another explanation.  I have a strong Saturn Neptune signature and I think it is also very easy for me to imagine reality, even if it not my reality.

In other words when I stood in that lunch line when I was a kid, I could see the other kids and readily imagine how they felt.  If I put my mind to it, I could write their conversation / dialogue from the era, verbatim, I’m sure because I was definitely tracking. I’d listen carefully for an opening to get out of that line for example.

“How can I say, I grew up isolated in the desert, 400 times and have people still think I grew up the way they did?”

“They just think everyone knows this stuff.”

“But I just told them I don’t know this stuff.”

“They think you know what they know.”

On that note I changed the subject. How many times can I say this before the day goes by?


How Readily Can You See The Other Person’s Side? — 32 Comments

  1. Come over to my house.I’ll make you a Lovely lunch.Not that you’re starving now.Only,I feel so sad,when I hear of children going without.

  2. I struggle with something similar. I was assuming that if I knew something about computers that others did too.

    I was being impatient with people for not knowing what I thought everyone knew….cut/copy/paste. It’s shocking to me how many people don’t know about cut/copy/paste.

    I am aware now and adjusting.

  3. My first house is packed, so I know that I can be very quite subjective. But I think having mercury and neptune conjunct in the 12th (in cap), I can very easily imagine another’s reality also. In fact I’d say its a strength of mine, execpt that neptune is kind of a lax bouncer at the doors and I can get myself into trouble easily by assuming all people are naturally ‘nice people’ like most of the people I personally know.

  4. I think having Neptune on the MC exacerbates this situation in my case. I wrote that whole series, “Like Talking Into A Fan” about this. To me it’s a stone cold phenomena.

    I may as well be saying, “I don’t have red hair,” and having the person respond, “So you don’t wear red because your hair is red, right?”

    I think I am so plainspoken. I am always honest so I just don’t know where the breakdown is.

  5. Elsa do you feel like you have this problem with everyone, or is it just certain proportion of people?

    Like I can’t communicate for the life of me with the male Libra at work. I have to have the Aries translate between us.

    I ask “do you want me to send the email or are you going to?” he sketches me a picture of the site and what they are wanting to do.

    I ask “do you want me to send the email or are you going to?” He tells me everything he needs to get done today and who he has to call and email.

    I ask “do you want me to send the email or are you going to?” Blank stare. So I get the Aries to say “do you want Tam to send the email?” The Libra says “no, I’ll send it” WTF? LOL

  6. There is a karmic story to the love you share Elsa. The empathy and ability to feel and see other peoples reality speaks highly of you and your husband. I do not know anything about the astrology of compassion but I know it when I hear it. Thank you for sharing such an honest, beautiful story. I am very glad that you write.

  7. I recalled another good example of this. Back on my original blog I used to write about my daughter. My family was in intense crisis and I would write about going back and forth between home and the hospital and the school, trying to manage everything and contain/process my emotion. Much of the stuff I wrote back then was very raw and people would read it and then write me.

    “I am very sorry about your daughter, that must be rough. I met this new guy and I wondering if you could look at these charts and tell me what you see. Here is my last boyfriend’s chart and this other man I am interested in, here is his chart too. So what do you think?

    Waiting to hear from you,

    Now you may think that is outrageous but I got mail like this EVERY DAY. When you get mail like this EVERY DAY in these circumstances, after awhile you can’t afford to be hurt by it or even confused. It just has to be accepted.

    I found I could not even hate the people as that was also fruitless so I learned to set this stuff aside.

    Not everything can be understood. I have really learned this well at this age. There is just not enough time to figure most things out so I just walk away from them.

    Back then, I would send a polite note: “I am sorry but I can’t look at these charts – I am swamped.”

    I bet you anything, many if not most got a response like that and thought, “Cunt”.

    Now what am I supposed to do about that?

  8. One time you wrote something about the soldier and the Iran hostage crisis. Somebody replied some stupid shit that just blew my mind.

    I must admit though that sometimes people write stuff on the boards and I have NO CLUE what they are talking about so I just don’t say anything.

  9. When I was younger – and stayed quiet and observant – I naturally put myself in other people’s shoes, but now I stay oblivious to other people’s situations and how they feel until I try to put myself in their situation. Once I try, I’d say I’m pretty good at it. At least I think so.

    I don’t have Saturn|Neptune contact, but I do have a very good imagination combined with some compassion and empathy. I think that a lot of it has to do with sensitivity, too.
    (Moon in Libra?)

  10. I rarely forget not everyone shares my reality or I theirs. Moon conj Neptune in Libra & a tight Saturn-Neptune sextile.

    Your ability to empathize with others, Elsa, contributes greatly to your success as an astrologer and being a really decent human being.

    BTW, those who cannot accept not everyone shares their reality don’t necessarily grow out of it . . . my mother-in-law will go to her grave not getting it. 🙂 Anymore I just shake my head in amazement and walk away.

  11. I’ve never had a tamale in my fucking life, but the way Elsa talks about them makes me want to go get one. That picture is making my mouth water.

  12. me & my bf get along pretty well but when we don’t its usually b/c he can’t see my point of view or where i’m coming from even if i try to make it as clear as possible… he IS Aries so I guess it can be hard for him and my Gemini free association may not always make it as easy as i think… but whenever we argue i usually have to add the pretext “its not about you!! etc etc..” 🙂

    on the other hand, I can totally submerge myself into another person’s shoes and may even stay there for a while… it could be that i’m just gullible (cuz i believe almost anything) or i have Neptune on ACS 😉

  13. @Luci one of my best memories is sitting on a curb in Hollywood with my Engineer, sloppily eating tamales with sporks and fingers.

    @ original question: I have a big Saturn Neptune signature as well: both conjunct luminaries, directly opposite each other. One of my therapy tools is imagining the other person’s perspective. (Or alternate explanations for the same circumstance.) It’s a pretty handy skill.

  14. Ay ay ay, I deal with this A LOT in regard to the chronic illness I’ve had the past few years. People ask a barrage of intrusive questions and offer unwanted and bizarre “medical” advice, which I try to head off with “I’m already following the protocol of one of top centers in the U.S. for this specialty, but thanks!” Nevertheless, no matter how serious and complicated the answers I’ve told them, it always ends with “But you don’t look sick!” This disconnect happens sooo often that a major CI website has the same name.

    I’ve reacted to it over the years by isolating/amputating, but cannot do that with my boyfriend! Obvs, he’s MUCH more understanding than most, but our Mercury opposition in Libra (me)/Aries (him) puts up roadblocks. This morning we were talking around in circles until I finally lost my patience, “Can you even understand that we are agreeing on the exact same thing here?!” Ah, love.

  15. I don;t have any trouble putting myself int he shoes of others but I do find that many other people just can’t or sometimes own’t do it. The latter are the sort who cut you off when you try to tell them something. I find Geminis do this a lot.

    I have Neptune, and a Chiron/Jupiter in Libra, and also lots of Saturn in my chart – Saturn in Cancer too. But more importantly, I think my empathising with others comes in part from having a handicap, in part from having had an unhappy childhood, and also a great deal and maybe most importantly from reading.

    I learned to read at three, and from then on have been without a novel, or a boig/autoboig, on the go. I prefer serious novels – classics and modern greats – to potboilers, SciFi or thrillers, and I don’t read ‘romance either – but I also love crime novels. I love any fiction which probes deeply into the human condition.

    All that reading about other people’s lives has helped enormously to open my eyes to other people and their hidden nature or past experience. I find that people who don’t read [good] fiction are rarely interested enough in other people to try to ‘imagine’ their reality.

    Some signs are definitely more empathetic than others. It’s interesting to me that so many actors – are or have strong – Aquarius. I guess th4ey are good at processing the ‘other’.

  16. I can definitely relate. But I stopped trying to fit in. I wouldn’t pretend a damn thing after a while and that is how I developed my Scorpio Moon, me against the world, tragic loner stance though it’s sort of mellowed over the years. Now it pops up with the telephone company or the bank: ” *Look*: it’s not my problem that I filled out your damn forms wrong. I don’t *work here*, I don’t *have* to learn to be efficient in your environment.”

  17. this happens to me all the time as well and I have a strong saturn/neptune signature in my chart. especially the tv thing, I haven’t watched tv in over 25 years and still people try to talk to me about shows, just as an example. the other stuff too but different content.

  18. i guess i’ll be the lone wolf who can’t always imagine another person’s reality.

    i can’t imagine the reality of being one of those letter writer people, and thoughtless.

    i can’t imagine the reality of feeling homophobic or hatred of another race.

    i can’t imagine hating someone ‘just because.’

    i can’t imagine the reality of being an abuser.

    i say this because i can think ‘oh! that person does this because xyz.’ but really???

    i can’t. i often wonder about the nature of empathy, and the expression ‘walking in another person’s shoes.’

    i can’t imagine being abandoned in the way some people i love have been. i can’t imagine being raped by a parent.

    there is a logical side of my brain that can intellectually imagine it, the rest is a big HUGE sign in there that says:


  19. yeah, i dunno what it is. i have jupiter/neptune. perspective just….goes somewhere spacey. LOL

    i think it’s rare (your ability) but i may be wrong.

    i think about empathy constantly. i am highly empathetic but somewhere inside feel like unless i LIVE an experience, i will be nothing but an observer with an opinion that’s superfluous in its importance.

  20. sorry for the blather, i’m posting too quick:

    i can imagine being the person has something inflicted on to them; i can imagine doing the inflicting.

    i think i just learned something about my own shadow. thank you:)

  21. I’ve got Saturn-Neptune with Uranus involved. I can do it, and after years of thinking everyone shares my reality, it’s very liberating. I don’t think I’m in a swarm of clones for example. Also, I don’t feel so weird even if I am. Admittedly, I still have the tendency to think everyone shares my reality (Leo), but I can understand it if not everyone does. For example, my parents’ experiences are extremely different from my own, being that both were born elsewhere, are from a different time period, and one has experienced war from the civilian perspective.

  22. mars in libra in my 7th House. makes me see all points of view almost intuitivly on all accounts of dialogue, argument or view point

  23. i’m going to go make meself a tamale (and by make i mean pull out of the freezer and microwave now)…

    i don’t get that so much. i mean, people often assume things about “everybody” that don’t apply to me, but they don’t tend to respond with the blank denial stare that often. when i bring it up.
    individuals do. there are people i know who seem to live in their own daydream and slip right on past anything that might ruffle it (no matter how absurd or self defeating it may be.)

    i have not much libra. though i have jupiter on the cusp of the tenth. maybe that counts for something. saturn on the cusp of the 12th (used to be jupiter’s…)

    but i have a ton of oppositions. by which i mean, three, if one counts aspects to the north node. that probably help me more than anything. that and the gemini jupiter. the mercurial perspective. i can respect a lot of different points of view all at once and believe (completely) none of them. drives some people crazy.

  24. i also know i’ll never be able to fully experience what someone else is living through.
    which helps me cope with cluelessness. i’m good at not catching on sometimes. to things people assume i should know, without telling me.

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