JADE: Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain

In my last post titled “The Loneliness of the Gifted and Genius,” I discussed how many of the world’s most sensitive people are desperately wanting to be heard and understood. This kind of starvation causes its victims to cling onto a communication tool that is most commonly referred to in the online world as “JADE.”

People with a history of not having their thoughts and feelings valued by others tend to be preoccupied with justifying, arguing, defending, and explaining every little thing that they think and feel.


As toddlers, most of us had the freedom to be honest and direct about our thoughts and feelings. We had no concept of JADE. If we wanted something, we would simply express our desire to have it. Our loved ones would then hear our simple request and try to make us happy. Communication was simple and pure.

Somewhere along the line, however, things got a bit more complicated. We lost our transparency. We began to JADE and force our loved ones to participate in a maze to figure out what it is that we really want. Rather than giving others the chance to make a decision based on simply making us happy, we gave all kinds of impersonal reasons why something should be done.

People with OCPD JADE in their own kind of way. Their “dominant left brain” causes many of them to use logical reasoning as they JADE. The strong work ethic and the “never give up” attitude of people with OCPD also affects the way that they JADE. While most other people might give up after seeing that they are going nowhere with their JADEing, people with OCPD will continue on with what others perceive as unending circular conversations.

In relationships, JADE is just not a very good idea. Unfortunately, many people do not know any other alternative forms of communication to be heard or understood. Some people who are convinced that it is the only way to be heard or understood honestly think that they are being polite as they invite others to JADE along with them and engage in a battle of “let us see whose argument is better.” All that these people need is to know that it is ok not to JADE, that they will be heard and understood even without it. But communicating that to them should come after receiving their trust through hearing them out, which may, at first, require you to listen to their only means of communication (JADE).

In my family’s case, my father would always cut me off whenever I JADE-ed. Though I just desperately wanted to be heard and understood, my father would say “that’s enough!” or “we are done talking about this!” The continuous invalidation of my side of the story caused me to build up resentment against my father. I would think “who put you in charge of controlling the course of our discussion!?” Then, when my father would JADE, I would sharply say right back at him “that’s enough!” to which he would become infuriated because “that is not the way a child should speak to his father.”

As you can see, though I believe JADE is a poor method of communication, I am even less of a fan of cutting off people who use it as their only means of being heard and understood.


Not JADEing

(X wants to stay home because she is tired)
X: I don’t want to go to the party anymore.
Y: Why not?
X: I have nothing to wear.
Y: Sure you do! You can wear that beautiful dress you wore to Jeff’s wedding.
(X feels frustrated because she doesn’t feel heard or understood)
X: Besides, I won’t know anyone there. It will be boring.
Y: Brian and Steph will be there. It’s going to be a great time!
(X feels even more frustrated because she still doesn’t feel heard or understood)
X: Looking for parking there will be such a pain.
Y: We can take a taxi there.
(X wants to stay home because she is tired)
X: I don’t want to go to the party anymore.
Y: Why not?
X: I’m tired and I just want to stay home tonight.
(Y cannot argue against how tired X is. Y cannot argue against X wish to stay home)
Y: Ok.
(X feels heard and understood)
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10 thoughts on “JADE: Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain

  1. MS says:

    Being JADE is exhausting for body and soul. But I did it sometimes, especially to my friend or my family who is easily offended (“-.-)

    But it’s about honesty, sometimes a little discomfort in the beginning can save a whole lot of pain down the road (I qoute from my fav.movie).

  2. Neil says:

    Another query, Mr. Daniel. Does JADEing help you a lot, especially you have OCPD?

    • Daniel Kim says:

      Nono, JADEing gets me into more trouble. I do not recommend people to JADE. But over the many years of using intellectualization as my primary defensive style, I have greatly improved my logical reasoning skills.

  3. princess marie antoniette says:

    caught myself crying.. : /

  4. Tamara heilbronn says:

    Dan my husband reacts to everything I say like he would have living with his ocpd mum when he was young it saddens me that he treats me like an enemy not a friend 😦

    • Daniel Kim says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Tamara. I hope your husband will be able to have compassion for your sadness and be moved to work out his past.

      • Tamara says:

        Thanks Dan he really is moved too and sees my sadness but it’s tough because these traits are so inground from your childhoods it really frustrates him aswell
        All I know is that he Loves me and wants to work on it 🙂

  5. AK says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. What a refreshing way to understand and think through OCPD especially as a christian and in positive and helpful ways. My husband has found it very helpful as he is on the low scale of this disorder. I was wondering in particular if you had any other advice for spouses of OCPD people, any books you would recommend? Any habits or conversations we could adopt? Also – I know this isn’t particularly related but are there any self-help books or information that you would recommend. Unfortunately we do not have the insurance nor the money for my husband to see a psychotherapist. Again, Thank you so much, your blog is a blessing. If it would be easier to e-mail me rather than respond via comments let me know and I can provide an e-mail address.

    • Daniel Kim says:

      So far, the best self-help book I think there is for OCPD is “The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity” by Carol A. Brown. I’m glad you have been blessed by my blog 🙂

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