At the dinner table, we said, “Hey, pass the stew,” and “Give me the gravy when you’re done.” We didn’t say “Please” and we didn’t say “Thank you.” We talked over each other and cut each other off. Conversations were loud and there was a lot of joking and making fun of each other.
My first dinner date with my future husband was almost the last (I found out years later…).
At his dinner table, they said, “Please, when you can, pass the stew. Thank you. Are you sure you are done?” and “Would you like more? Can I get you anything? I’m fine. Thank you. Please take the last roll.” They talked in turn and listened patiently. Conversations were soft and light – usually about something outside of the room.
My language was interpreted initially as rude and crude. His language was boring and superficial to me. It’s amazing we had a second date!
But we took the time to ask questions and discovered that the language was different but the intention the same. We both wanted to be heard and understood and were interested in hearing and understanding each other. So we created our own language. He became bolder in expressing raw thoughts and feelings and I became softer and added “Please” and “Thank you” to my vocabulary.
What language is comfortable for you? If you feel “in conflict” with someone (child, boss, spouse, employee, friend, etc) take a moment to consider:
This person isn’t purposefully rude/avoidant/loud/dismissive/disrespectful; he/she just speaks a different language. Underneath this language is someone wanting to be heard and understood and accepted.
If this person is interested (it takes two to communicate and grow closer) then initiate a discussion on how YOU can learn his/her language:
What do I say that makes you feel closer to/more distant from me?
What can I say that would make you feel closer to me?
Listen to the answers. Say “Thank-you.” Work together. Create a new language that works for both of you.
Julie Davis uncovers and clears up deeply embedded beliefs and unresolved emotions that keep people stuck (www.rapidresolutiontherapy.com). She also coaches people how to stay clear, calm and strategic in everyday life with healthy ways of thinking, feeling and behaving (www.juliedavismft.com). Get free weekly insight and guidance by joining Julie’s Tuesday Email service. Send “subscribe” in subject line to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Julie is a Certified Rapid Resolution Therapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (North Carolina, California; New York), Board Certified Hypnotherapist, and New Life Network Christian Counselor (www.newlife.com). 704-807-1101.