You're Not "Up" At Bat 24/7

The person who counters habitually are like baseball players who always put themselves in the batter's box. Any ball thrown at them they will hit. They consider it a victory when they get a hit. They might even be TRYING to hit the person who "threw" it, like that's part of the game. They will NOT put that bat down and pick up a glove, and CATCH the ball, unless it's the coach throwing it, or one of their "heroes". So, they NEVER EVER know what any of the balls actually LOOKS LIKE. They assume all the balls thrown at them are the same, and not worth looking at; they're just baseballs. The only ball they will CATCH, and therefore LOOK AT, are those thrown by anyone they consider "superior". Most of the other players get sick of their obsession with being in the batter's box and hitting any ball they throw. This person refuses to actually PLAY BASEBALL, they want to just do what THEY want to do.

They aren't playing  Baseball if they refuse to catch a ball unless the coach or one of their heroes throws it.

To get past this habit of countering, one must consciously learn to catch, and stop hitting and blocking. Actually listening when someone expresses their point of view is like catching the ball, and looking at it. Examine it, ask questions about it, don't just assume all is KNOWN about this baseball. LOOK AT IT. ASK ABOUT IT. TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT. What is it made of, where did it come from, why did the person choose this particular baseball? What does this brand use for stitching? For fill? What's that gouge from? What does the person who threw it know about this ball, what is their personal experience?

Obviously the ball represents the other person's point of view, observation, or expression. Hitting the ball when it is thrown represents arguing, countering, and opposing when the other person speaks or writes, or expresses something. Catching the ball represents taking the time and the small effort to actually hear what they are saying, read what they wrote, contemplate what they expressed, and not react to it with an automatic "counter attack". Then, after really comprehending what the person said, after really looking at and feeling the ball, it's thrown back to the person. The actual game of Baseball, and real communication, begins when the ball is tossed back, gracefully, so the other person can catch it. Throwing the ball back to the person represents respectful reciprocal communication, when the point of view or expression is reflected back to them, showing that the other consciously understands what they were saying. This is called "feedback", and respectful, courteous, drama free feedback is essential to any kind of relationship IF it's healthy. "Feedback" is not criticism, it's not countering, it's not opposition. It's hearing, seeing, trying to understand, and telling it back to the person. "I think what you are saying is such and such. I see what you mean. Am I correct in interpreting what you're saying? Can you explain more?"

When we play Ball, we play catch, it's how we learn to catch and throw. When we build friendships and partnerships, we play catch with our points of view, it's how we learn to communicate effectively, share ideas, help one another, and have a good time. If I am picking up a bat every time my friend picks up a ball, BECAUSE they pick up a ball, I am going to drive them nuts in a very small amount of time, and they're going to get sick of it pretty quickly. They aren't going to be impressed by my batting skills, they aren't going to think I'm tough or smart, they're just going to get bored and feel lonely because I'm refusing to be a good sport and actually play WITH them. I'm obviously only interested in hogging the batter's box, and playing AGAINST them. Boring, tedious, and frustrating; it shows I have little respect for them and no interest in real companionship.

We are just acting ignorant and arrogant when we always assume that the details we don't know are not worth finding out about. When we just debate everything another person says, and assume we already know what they're thinking, feeling, and doing, we insert drama where it doesn't need to be. Information and detail seeking, without emotional insertion and domination, is only for the strong and intelligent. The arrogant and weak can't do it.  (If you think you already know everything, you aren't going to try to find out more...) Those who don't have these issues make much better friends, and much better baseball players. It's pretty boring and aggravating to go to the field with someone who only wants to hit every ball you throw, and won't pick up a glove and play catch.

What Is Normal? People Who Chew With Their Mouths Open

Because of the heavy use of shame and fear they witnessed or experienced in their childhoods, many people will see that in others where it doesn't exist. 
If, for example, the "silent treatment" was often used in their family, either against them or against someone else, they can believe its something that EVERYONE does. If other families around them did it too, their belief that it's "just what everyone does" can be reinforced tremendously. So if you don't get back to them because you were busy or could not for some reason, they can assume you were giving them the silent treatment, even if you've never done that once in your life. They won't think to ask you if that's what you were doing, they will assume you were, and believe the assumption, and then probably be angry with you about it. 

This lack of communication goes hand in hand with heavy shame and fear environments. Everything is tinged with emotional reaction, everything everyone does is under scrutiny and suspect, everyone wants the actions of others to be something "bad". They can even get a feeling of power when they suspect someone is doing something "bad", because it makes them feel like one of the "good people", and in heavy shame and fear environments, being one of the "good people" is very important, because it takes one out of the line of fire (shame and fear) for the time being.

No one in the group realizes how dramatic it all is because they don't know what it's like to live without heavy drama and control.

Whatever we grew up with, we all think "everyone does that" or "everyone is like that", until we FIND OUT differently. Those who have never lived or worked outside of the region where they grew up are more susceptible to this belief habit, for obvious reasons. If they grew up around ancestry and family, even more so. If everyone chews their food with their mouths hanging open in the area, those who grew up around that will think it's perfectly "normal" and not bad manners. The couple of people in the area who chew with their mouths closed are the ones who will be called "weird" by everyone else, and will not be taken seriously. And so it is with everything else.

Whatever we grew up with in the family or the region, we think is "normal", and is how "everyone is", UNTIL we find out differently, so we don't question it. We often even defend it~ "What do you mean chewing with your mouth open is bad manners?! That's a pompous thing to say, we ALL do that! Who chews with their mouths closed, the Royal Family?"

Or, "Who communicates like that? I shouldn't have to find out what my wife means when she talks, she should say it right the first time!"

Whatever communication skills or life skills we are taught when we grow up, that's all we have. If we aren't open to learning more skills, better ways of relating and communicating, and be open to new information and other points of view, we will just be the same as we were in childhood till the day we die, unfortunately.

Those who close their lives and their minds up around themselves like a box, and defend it as "the way it is", can not grow anymore, like a plant stuck inside a closed terrarium. They stunt themselves in order to protect themselves from having to learn anything new. Those who open the box can keep growing and learning with a limitless potential, they have no ceiling.