Misinterpreting Other People

Misinterpreting the intention, meaning, words, motives and emotions of others is common in those with certain disorders. It doesn't mean they can't heal from it, but until they do, this can wreak havoc in personal relationships. This is a form of projection, and also often a kind of transference.
(It's important to note; it's also a natural human trait to assume that someone means what we would mean if we said the same thing. Why so many intelligent people get conned and scammed.)

So when Jim says "Nice job taking out the garbage!" to his nephew Chris, what exactly does he mean? His nephew is going to take it the way he hears it, which might not be the way his Uncle Jim meant it.

Chris hears it as sarcasm, but Jim actually meant it as a genuine, drama-free acknowledgment. So since Chris assumes it was sarcasm, he reacts to Jim according to his incorrect interpretation, and huffs and puffs, and rolls his eyes. Jim, in turn, is frustrated and a little hurt. This kind of thing happens all the time. Chris' father is very sarcastic, controlling and demeaning, but his Uncle Jim is not at all. So Chris, understandably, "hears" the same thing when his uncle speaks. This ongoing dynamic based on Chris' incorrect interpretations, and Jim not knowing what's happening (tough one to figure out), creates more and more tension and leads to an eventual breakdown of the relationship. Which is very unfortunate for both of them.

On a wider level, Chris interprets most people this way. His father's attitude has become a filter through which he views all adults, and is beginning to view others his age through it as well. So Chris hears sarcasm and put-downs directed at him everywhere he goes, and can't discern when a person is not talking down to him anymore.

The implications of this are pretty far-reaching; if one hears disrespect, sarcasm, control and insult whenever others speak, how will Chris be able to make any healthy connections, or learn anything new from others, or get any kind of help for anything he's been through or issues he's dealing with, including this one? He could heal, and then he would be much more clear about the real motivations and emotions of others, but he has to first recognize that he has this issue.