"Why?" My daughter asks, "As long as it's true, why should feelings matter?" She's wired like me, this one is, so I have to try to teach her what I learned by trial and error that other people just seem to 'get.'
"You want my answer? Or normal people's answer?"
"Just yours." Anyone else would have said 'both' almost reflexively, but her mind works with very particular and efficient logic. She knew which answer would help her most. She saw no reason to waste time on the other.
I tell her both anyway. That's part of her education, too. Most people avoid hurting feelings because they don't like getting their own hurt. They instinctively feel it is wrong to hurt unnecessarily. Even high functioning autistics need to learn this. It's not automatic. That's all good. My reason:
"If you hurt people's feelings, they quit listening."
What this gets to is a big part of Conflict Communications. People personalize the world. When you say, "Trina, you made a mistake" Trina hears, "Trina, you are stupid." What was intended to help becomes an attack, and the help won't be accepted or even heard until the social/emotional reaction is satisfied.
Part of being a sergeant was telling people they screwed up. If I was too direct about it, people would assume I was angry. They would sometimes spend weeks saying, "Sorry about that screw-up sarge, but everything is alright between us, right?" It had never not been alright. I was paid to, sometimes, point out problems. It was only after watching I realized that many people, even experienced supervisors, couldn't directly confront unless they were angry. So people expected anger.
The tribal and emotional parts of the thought process are intertwined. Maybe there is no separation at all. When you see things through tribal filters, the logical part of your brain isn't even engaged, no matter how much you think it is or how logical you sound to yourself. The surest sign of being in your tribal brain (we call it 'the monkey') is emotion. If your blood pressure goes up when you think about those bastards on the other side of the line (doesn't matter if it is political parties or religions or sports teams) the part of your brain that distinguishes you from a chimp isn't even engaged.
If you choose words that hurt feelings, you automatically put the other person in chimp mode, and all the logic in the world won't help. Worse, no matter how logical you are sure you are being, his chimp mode almost automatically triggers your chimp mode. You have lost control.
(And this is putting certain people into chimp mode right now: how dare he allege that anything I'm passionate about is coming from the limbic system! I care about TRUTH! Thing is, that whenever in your experience y0u saw two idiots arguing, both of them thought there was one idiot and one reasonable person...and that includes most of the times you were 'debating' as well. A discussion between two intelligent people working together to find a solution doesn't have the emotional aspect of two people using the argument to either establish dominance or defend identity.)
You can pick any internet dust-up or argument and analyze it: it becomes an argument because, at some point, a statement is taken as an attack, an opinion about an idea is felt to be about the person who holds the idea...
The tribal and primate roots are there to see. More importantly, they are predictable. If you can't see a thing, you are at the mercy of that thing. Once you learn to see it...
Predictable is preventable.