I asked a preschooler, “Have you ever had stitches ?“ He smiled with acknowledgement and said, “Oh, yes, I get “itches” all the time!”
It is so easy to confuse words with others that people are saying, or we simply do not understand new words. We only know what we think we hear. We cannot know what we do not know or do not understand. That all sounds simple. However, there is something about communication that is not always simple.
Yesterday I had someone say something to me from very far away. I never heard any of the words until the person had stated them three times and was already frustrated about my lack of hearing. I had no chance of a calm conversation when the first thing I heard was already filled with frustration.
I often hear words that I think make sense only to later find out that my ears can deceive me. I also don’t comprehend foreign accents well which makes for totally disconnected ideas in my head. Miscommunication will always happen in our world. What we do with it and how we handle it will be the key to our success. The preschooler with the itch was not reprimanded for not listening well. He was not scolded for not understanding the vocabulary word. He was accepted and told what stitches in our skin are used for. He left with a greater knowledge, and he left not feeling inadequate or frustrated. What can start out as miscommunication can always have a happy ending if we work on it.
- When was the last time you left a conversation feeling misunderstood?
- When you get frustrated with someone, what is a positive way to deal with that?
- What is one place where you would love to be understood more often?
- Will you try to make that place a haven for grace in communication?
“Home is where you can scratch where it itches.” Anonymous