Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The right word

I once bought a book for my ex, many years' ago entitled: 'The Right Word At The Right Time', in the hope it would resolve a few problems of communication we both had. Of course, it didn't help - it was a very large, thick book that neither of us read, so it sat on the bookshelf gathering dust.

Over the years, I have listened to comments, (although well-intended - I think), that have in some way, upset me, but not knowing how to redress the problem, or whether it was just me taking it personally, I kept silent. Looking back, I can see now that the real issue was me and the embedded experiences of my whole life that coloured my interpretation.

An example: Just after the funeral I received this comment: "D'ont worry, you'll soon find another man." It really upset me at the time, but now, looking more closely at the person who said it, I can see the words meant something slightly different to them, and that in their own clumsy way, they tried to tell me there was a future.

I no longer get upset by 'iffy' comments but look at the context in which they have been stated. The ensuing problem may not be the actual words, but what an individual interprets them to mean.

I know that I have also upset people with throw-away comments that I haven't taken the time or trouble to think about first; it is a problem for all of us, without exception. I have been thinking about some of the things I have said to my girls and friends both in the past, and recently, and wonder why I still don't think before I speak. I should know by now, that what I say, and what is understood can be so different. I am an idiot sometimes and hope that if I have offended them past or present, they will forgive me.

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