Miscommunication and Other Mind Reading Opportunities

August 17, 2010

in the generous life

I was talking with a friend and we were both bemoaning times of miscommunication with our spouses.  What it boiled down to was that we would make a statement and expect our spouses to understand all kinds of information and requests that were implied (I mean we understood what we meant, why didn’t they?).

To us, saying, “We need to get something to fix that,” means, “Next time you go to the hardware store, would you get screws and then fix that step?”  To our guys that was just a reasonable observation, yes it needed to be done and sometime they would get around to it.  They had no clue that we were talking about a serious concern and we wanted them to act on it.

We needed to be more specific and say things like, “Honey, that really concerns me.  Would you fix the step this weekend?” or “I’m running errands this afternoon.  If I pick up the screws will you take a moment this evening and fix the step?”

Keep an eye on how you communicate with your husband and look for ways to be more specific.  The more specific we are, the less mind reading our husband’s will have to do.

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.  Robert McCloskey

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debra Holloman August 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

This just happened to me a couple of days ago. I really wanted my husband to fix the dehumidifier. I had tried and was frustrated, so I went and asked him if he could fix it. He immediately said yes and then went back to what he was doing. It then occurred to me that I needed clarification. So I asked, “Does the yes mean yes you will fix it now or yes you will fix it later today or yes you are putting it on a list to be fixed at some time in the future.” Just asking for that clarification was so helpful. It let me know that he was going to fix it and when he was going to fix it and also let him know that this was really important to me.

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