Assume the Best
Occasionally we process it up. Most of the time, we process it down.
We walk away and start stewing:
"What did she MEAN by that?"
"I wonder what he was thinking!"
"Did you notice his body language?"
"It's what she DIDN'T say that bothers me!"
Cooking conversations after the fact is like overcooked spaghetti -- a tangled gob of mush with a stench.
The problem with processing conversations downhill is our inclination to make false assumptions. An incomplete perspective, fueled by emotion and imagination blows everything out of proportion like a reflections in the carnival funny mirror.
Here's a good rule of thumb: always assume the best.
Whenever we suspect and impute motives onto people, we end up going down a dark trail of negativity, breeding mistrust. Most of the time, we assume things are worse than they really are. We "fill in the blanks" with monsters of our own imaginings.
If you're going to read between the lines, how about doing this? Read good into it! Read the silent blessings! Assume the very best! Process it up!
If they meant you well, they will be encouraged.
If they meant you harm, they will be astounded.
Either way, you both win!