Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bad Breath? At least you were told!

Communication is a funny thing. We use it everyday. It’s kind of this crucial thing.  It’s not really something that we can do without. I love communicating. I quite enjoy talking and gabbing like.  The thing is I just don’t get why everyone can’t just communicate the right way, my way.

Ok, obviously I don’t want everyone to be like me. But wouldn’t life be super if everyone around you talked the same kinda language?  There are some days I swear the people around me think I am speaking my own made up language!

Recently I have learned so much about my own style of communicating. I tend to be a ‘to the point’ kind of person.  Ben on the other hand he is a ‘every tiny single detail’ person.  What Ben can say in 20 minutes I could do in 2.  For the most part we respect this in each other and try our best to be tolerant of the other.  But there are so times we just ram at each other. 

My kids are a good source of self-reflection.  I see in them all of my great communicating qualities. Aubrey has my special gift of directness. For instance the other morning she was lying on the couch and Ben was in her face trying to talk to her. She lifted her little chubby hand put it up in-between them and said while holding her other had over her nose “NO daddy, pee ewe you stink!”  You see she wasn’t willing to have a conversation with her dad and his coffee breath! LOL What beautiful use of direct communication. 

Ben was totally crushed. I continued Aubrey’s line of conversation by asking Ben “Well would you rather her let you walk around thinking your breath smelled good?”  Ben did not find my joke quite as funny as I did. But seriously how do you make that better for him?  How do you make him think his child is not just being mean spirited?  Obviously it is not Aubrey’s intent. In her mind you just tell people how you feel and what was true to her in that moment was his breath stunk!

I tend to do this with Ben.  Usually I think more before I talk and say things as kindly as possible. But there are things that come out and they are harsh. But what we learned very quickly was that those conversations require major follow up. They are the kind that mean I have to then take the time to gently and thoroughly (SO THOROUGHLY) talk Ben through how I got to my ultimate direct statement.  I like to say I have to have ‘my court case ready’. 

Ben has also learned that sometimes with me he has to get rid of the flowery stuff, the decorative words around the actual point he is trying to make. Too many a time has he tried his old tactics and I end up confused or taking him the wrong way. 

All in all we have really begun to come to a point of much more understanding.  A place where we try to take the time with each other to make sure we both come out truly understanding each other. 

So, one day I will have a conversation explaining to Aubrey that maybe she could have just nicely said “Dad we need to have a talk about you and your coffee breath” rather than simply telling him “you stink”.

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