Monday, August 25, 2008

consider this...



To assume what other people are thinking or feeling without asking them is to invite misunderstanding. Just as disastrous is to assume other people know what we want or need without our telling them. Many potentially good friendships and marriages perish because of our false assumptions and our lack of honest communication.

Do we assume others can't live without us or wouldn't know what to think or feel unless we told them? Do we take for granted that "silence means assent"? Do we assume others don't have time for us, or don't care about us, if they don't call or go out of their way to talk to us? Do we think others can read our minds without our ever opening our mouths?

Since we can only assume the same limited or distorted thoughts of others that we have of ourselves, we each need to take the initiative to ask probing questions and give honest responses in our relationships.

TODAY I will not make the mistake of projecting my feelings onto others. I will initiate honest and open communication.

You are reading from the book:

The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes

8 comments:

GrandmaK said...

I do, and I have been that person. The words speak again to me. Every now and then one need to be reminded by these very precious reality checks and yours was one for me today! Thank you!

You have a wonderful blog. I visit via Sometimes...Cathy

Sorrow said...

It's really funny that this was your post today. Yesterday i had some one get offended because my 15 year old walked up to me after working on painting the house for 3 hours and said "Mom, I need some stroking!" and i of course proceeded to OOOO and AHHHH over the great job he had done. The visitor was so upset and couldn't understand why he would do that " It's not sincere if you have to ask for praise." she said.
What ensued was me trying to explain that as a parent and a human being, i have needs and some times so do my kids, but I am not always intuitive enough to KNOW what and when those needs need met.
I don't think she got it, but I am going to email her your post and see if it doesn't help!
Thanks!

Tess said...

Well I'm just here catching up on your posts after a few days mostly away from the computer, and I've chosen to post a kind of joint response to this one.
Your descriptions of your latest adventure were wonderful, and the story of what's happening with your father very moving. I think perhaps those we have lost come close to us at different times of our lives, when we need them.
And I like what you're saying in this post about projection. I don't think I do that often, but I'm often aware when people are doing it to me.
I've enjoyed catching up with everything wot u rote over the past few days. x

SUNRISE SISTER said...

The comments in your post re THE REFLECTING POND are so familiar to me. I played the mindreading game most of my young adult life, with my husband, with my parents, friends and even, heaven forbid, with my sibs. I don't know where we all got the notion that we could read minds because none of us ever COULD!!! Memories of not very kind backlash from my parents about what they had hoped I would do or what one of my sibs should have/would have/should have known to do are very memorable events to this day. I don't "blame" them for their behavior because I believe they were raised on that kind of mind-reading ethic and then they instilled it in us. It was all they knew.

I started working on breaking the mind-reading ethic almost 30 years ago and have done a fairly good job of it. Realizing how totally ridiculous we have acted with each other, ocasionally my spouse and I will break up a disagreement with the old phrase "oops, I see that you failed mind-reading too!"

Walking into a situation when one believes they are telling the truth in love might be tested on a mirror or wall prior to presenting one's thoughts that, oh by the way, carry years of pent up anger, regret, and resentment to an unsuspecting scapegoat - a friend, a parent, a sib, a spouse.

Lord, help us to measure our own inner selves, our motives, our real expectations before we unleash what is hard to take back just because our lives have become unmanageable in living with all of our disappointments and/or bad mindreading habits.

Oh, I think maybe I should have saved this for my own post - Lucy, thanks for listening....

xoxox

Country Parson (Steven Woolley) said...

I am so sorry that none of you got an A in your mind reading class. Perhaps you just didn't go to the right school. I, myself, have become quite good at it and seldom need to ask anyone what they are thinking or needing. However, I am often amazed at how little they seem to know about their own thoughts and needs. I think their lives would be so much better if they would just listen a bit more to what I already know about them. Whatever would they do without me?
CP

SUNRISE SISTER said...

CP - we're happy to put up with your overwhelmingly brilliant mind-reading. The alternate choice we wever given this week did NOT to appeal to us at all..... oh, I'm sorry, Lucy was supposed to answer here but I KNEW exactly what she would say:)

xoxoxo

Karen said...

In my own life (and really, from what other place can write), I'm most guilty of this with the people closest to me--and that's where it can be so especially damaging. After years of togetherness, it's easy to take for granted that we know, or they know, when in reality, we're all changing every day...this makes me realize that I should be checking in every day--questioning, listening, learning...

lucy said...

thank you all for stopping by. i hope you will read my next post "more to consider" which was prompted by all of your wonderful responses.

so glad to have SS & CP here demonstrating their great mind reading skills!!!!