People miscommunicate all the time!
It sort of drives me crazy. I can see where all sides are coming from. Usually people aren’t in as much disagreement as they think they are, they are just using different language to express themselves. So much gets lost in the words.
Let’s face it, we’re all looking for the people in our lives to do or say certain things. And when they don’t, we get a little pissed off. Or feel disappointed…or unloved. I used to get mad at my dad about this.
Disclaimer: I love my dad dearly. He’s a great dad. He’s hilarious, and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone.
But my dad has interesting ways of expressing himself. He basically says whatever is in his head at the moment, whether he really means it or not. And he’s not always quick to tell me the things that I really need to hear from him.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I was much happier if I just tell him what I need to hear from him.
“Dad, just say, ‘Julianne, I’m proud of you, and everything is going to be alright.'”
Some people balk at this because it is literally putting words into someone’s mouth.
‘If he’s proud of me, he’d say so himself.’
Not necessarily. I think that people think a lot of things that they never say. They assume we already know and there’s no need to say it out loud. And, obviously, they are wrong. We DO need to hear it. We need to know that even now, after we’ve failed, that they are still proud. We need to know that they believe in us, or think we’re beautiful and capable.
I guess the fear is, what if they don’t think so?
Well, nine times out of 10 they do. But the few times I’ve asked for something that someone didn’t agree with, it was at least a great way to start a conversation. And by the end, there was such a greater sense of understanding and honesty. And I think that goes a long way.
Besides, I think the more I do ask for what I need, the more people understand me. And the more they want to oblige. I used to think it made me needy, but maybe it just makes me honest.
So here are some things that I need…
- Dad, tell me that you think I’m funny and capable and that you wish I lived closer so we could go to Panera and get pecan rolls together.
- Sarah Beth, when I’m wearing a cute outfit, tell me. Your opinion means a lot.
- Jeff, keep telling me that my words inspire you, and that you think I’m capable to really make an impact on people’s lives.
- Friends, when I say something negative about myself, don’t let me get away with it. Tell me what’s true and don’t let me argue with you.
- Future husband, when I’m upset, especially when I’m feeling uncertain, just grab me and tell me that you love me and everything is going to be alright. That’s usually all I really need to know anyway.
- And God, let me really feel you. You’ve got to be much more than an idea to me. I need to really know you.