Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't be Koi

Seriously, we need to stop beating around the bush. So often people don't say what they really mean or express what they really want and then they wonder why they never get what they want and why nobody seems to understand them. There was a family I once knew that came from Burundi and the whole family spoke in innuendos and riddles. It took me two years to discover that the three that I knew out of the five were actually related to one another. They were siblings! None of them had the same last name, to my knowledge, and they always referred to one another as "My brother" or "My sister" and never by name. Okay so that could just be a cultural thing. But really.

I sometimes have a difficult time expressing what I need. I am human as well. But over the last number of years I have discovered how important it is to just say it out loud, no matter how insane it might sound. You can always revise the request, but if it is unexpressed then it will inevitably be unfulfilled. So it becomes ultimately important to get down to the bare bones of the matter and just express whatever it is. We don't have to try to make everyone around us telepathic. They can't read our minds, so we have to say what is on our minds. Now understand that this is also coming from someone who doesn't really like the sound of my own voice. I am usually quite reserved and quiet around home, probably because I talk so much at work. But quiet or not, I have found that I have to say it out loud. Yup. I might be telepathic but others are not. I figure that if I turn off the telepathic thing when I am not at work, then it is only fair that I use my indoor voice to compensate.

Oh, and here is a tidbit of a life lesson for those who think that in order to be heard you have to raise your voices. It doesn't work. Whenever someone raises their voice at me I turn them off completely. I've checked around and indeed I am not the only one who does that. So it might be a good idea to use another communication tactic. It might also be good to use one that isn't manipulative. The silent treatment doesn't work. The withholding of sex doesn't work. Rewarding with chocolate (although it has a better chance) doesn't work. Honesty works. Figure it out before you say anything. That way you aren't blathering on while you verbally sort it out in your own head, which only turns into the Charlie Brown teacher's voice. You know the one....."Wha wha wha wha wha wha wha". Think it through, then clearly speak it. Otherwise there is just too much room for confusion and boredom as you search out your own point.

I know, that was more than one tidbit of advice. I'm just on a roll tonight.

Blessed Be
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1 comment:

Gail said...

I can certainly empathize with what you're saying about putting into words what it is I want, without innuendo or the expectation that the person can intuit what it is I really want, because we can, quite miraculously, read each other's minds.
For me, there are days when, asking someone a succinct question that requires a succinct answer, instead brings forth a heretofore unknown floodgate of verbiage which sounds to me like 'thinking out loud'. Although it's a verbal and visual feast for my senses, which affords me a detailed and graphic example of the inner workings of that person's mind, this minutiae is extraneous fluff. To comb through it all and tease out the relevant bits applicable to my question takes time. (A verbal flash flood kinda makes me wonder whether or not they talk at home or are even listened to at home...)
And then there are those people you put a question to who give you an answer that leaves you wondering whether they even heard the question in the first place, since the answer they give you has absolutely nothing to do with the question asked, but that's another story.