Well I'm not literally literal. But I interpret communication relatively literally. Specifically I usually take definitions literally. This leads to misinterpretations.
Others have called me literal. And just this past week someone compared my communication to a robot. That wasn't the first time.
Here's an example of me misunderstanding:
A friend said this publicly online:
Call your friends out for their sh-tty behavior. Encourage your friends to do better. Love is pushing someone to be their best self, it is not being complacent in order to keep from disrupting the balance you are comfortable with.
Here was my interpretation: "If you're pushing someone to be their best self, you are pushing them from sh-tty to good, to great, to execellent to best. Not just the first step. Friend wants said pushing."
A few days later while reflecting I thought of a piece of constructive criticism. I sent it over a message.
I wasn’t necessarily looking for a challenge though lol. When I said challenge your friends, I moreso meant when they are being sh-tty people, call them out.
I went back and read what they wrote.
The first sentence aligned with the reply.
If "Encourage your friends to do better" means "Encourage your friends to do better [than sh-tty]" then the second sentence aligns, as well.
However I struggle to make the third sentence align with the reply. If if I were to redefine "best" to mean "not sh-tty", then it aligns "Love is pushing someone to be their [not sh-tty] self". But that's not what "best" means. What am I doing wrong?
How can I determine what people mean when they communicate?