We have come back from a lovely holiday with my family!
I scanned a Reader’s Digest lying around and found an article about annoying phrases. It encouraged people not to say things like “I was just kidding” to mask a nasty comment. The last paragraph gave advice on how to talk to people about issues.
It suggested that a conversation about ‘why you want them to take out the trash sometimes’ is more productive than ‘why the other person is a jerk’.
At first I laughed. Who throws hate on someone all the time for imagined character deficiencies when all they want is for them to pay attention to a detail?
Mostly to myself. I spent much of the previous week angry and aggravated at myself. Instead of focusing on the behaviour that caused stress, such as miscommunication, I just called myself names.
Lazy. Selfish. Disorganized. Annoying. Incompetent.
I wasn’t even sure why I felt so insufficient. So I took the article’s advice and tried to remember the exact events that triggered the name-calling.
Sure enough, a misunderstanding about text labelling was no longer sign of obvious depravity. Just a reminder that I need to be more clear about what I am talking about.
I had thought I had lost my wallet. Upon arriving home, I realized that a small child had taken it from my bag and hidden it in her room. No longer was my sin gross negligence, but simply not taking the time to double check that everything in the bag to go to the car actually made it to the car.
By focusing the event, I could make a plan to prevent it from happening again. Before, it seemed inevitable that I would always lose my wallet. Now I am more hopeful.