It matters not what you said but what they heard

“You keep one-upping/highjacking my story-telling.”
– “I’m just offering examples to show connection.”

“You keep telling me what our baby is trying to tell me.”
– “I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m not criticising. I’m just stating an observation.”
– “I’m just trying to help.” 
– “it was just a suggestion. You don’t have to listen to me.”

“I’ve cooked this before. I know what I’m doing.”
– “Everyone has different approaches, and it only widens your world if you are open to learning other people’s views.”

One thing that stands out about these responses is this.

It focuses on telling them they are wrong (again) in what they heard. It does not learn about how what you said is being heard.

It completely lacks empathy and (ironically) connection. The response is designed to shut the other person up.
The problem is that they are hurting from, what they perceive as, being told they are wrong. And now you told them they are wrong in that too. Give them a break.

If you’ve said these responses more than twice in the past, I will challenge you to remember when the first time you said this was and how many times you may have had to respond with this. 
That’s how many years you’ve chosen “win” over “growth.”
That’s how many opportunities you had to change. 
That’s how many times you distanced your partner/friend/parent.   

That’s how many times you broke their heart. 

Keep your mouth shut till they finish a story. 
Don’t change the subject just because they finished the story. Remember, “I also know someone who plays soccer…” is a change of subject. Soccer is extremely rarely the subject.

You don’t have the right to interject yourself everywhere just because you’re in the same room.  If your mother is feeding your baby, your spouse is changing the diaper, your spouse is cleaning/cooking. Unless they are harming the baby or setting the house on fire, leave them alone. It’s a moment they are connecting with the baby. 

When the baby is returned to you, the baby maybe covered in food or have their diaper on loose. DO NOT comment on it or fix it unless the baby is being harmed by it. If you must fix it like a loose diaper, make sure the person who put it on does not see you fixed it.

Some of you have “But!” “But!” “But!” rushing through your head right now.  Can I ask you – do you have a mother, father, sibling, or a teacher who pointed out your faults/mistakes on the regular basis? Possibly you feel you can’t invite them over without thoroughly cleaning your house? I thought so.


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