Last night (Wednesday? Yup. Days are still meaningless) I popped in (virtually, of course) for an Authentic Relating games night with the local Authentic Seattle group. In just the introductions, there was a moderate kerfuffle when someone tossed out a likely putdown towards "they" pronouns, and it was fascinating to watch the layers of processing happen - the layers I'm modeling in my head, at least, to make sense of the words and behaviors that come out of people given the inputs.
I felt some of the same feelings, but mostly noticed the sloppiness of the whole exchange - participants and moderators alike. I'm not saying I'd have done better as a moderator, by the way - being on the outside meant that I didn't have to spend mental energy on several things they were weighted by, I'm sure. But it's remarkable how hard it is to be self-aware, and detangle, and express, what goes on inside our internal circuitry. A trying-to-be-kind phrasing called it a "joke", and I think that was a saving-face-offer mechanism rather than an authentic expression of experience. That went sideways when it wasn't perceived as such, and so on.
Someone noted my "precision" in articulating my communication later in the evening, which made me wondered if I should have tried to help earlier. But my randomly-drawn value-to-relate-to in the evening's game was "humility" and I have my issues with that still. I'm interested in being able to travel from the inside to the outside, though - to get better at recognizing when defensive inner-ego mechanisms are activating, and to let those drop and bring the no-ego "outside" perspective. That perspective is: nothing under threat, everything is welcome, nothing is assumed, and distinct objects/layers for perception, experience, interpretation/storytelling, and expression.