Friday, May 8, 2009

More Important Then Me

In a relationship with an important person, we are always telling them things. Sometimes we even say it to them with words! Mostly though it is in our actions. We are constantly watching the other person, noting and interpreting the things they do. For instance, if I get my wife flowers, she might interpret it in one of the following ways:

1. "He loves me!"
2. "He cares about me!"
3. "He's apologizing to me!"
4. "He's hiding something from me!"
5. "He wants something!"

Sometimes our interpretations are positive: A handsome man walking down the street smiles at a young lady as he passes by. He thinks to himself "I just passed gas" or "Wow, she's dressed funny." She interprets it "He likes me" or "he thinks I'm hot."

It's comical really, because we are continually interpreting those we are close to all day long but we commonly get it wrong. Often our interpretations are negative. For instance, a man works long hours at the office thinking the message he's giving his wife is "I'm a good provider" or "I sacrifice for the family." The wife may however interpret it as "he doesn't want to spend time with me" or "working is more attractive then being home with me." We learn how to interpret as children.

Often the unintentional message we hear is some form of this; "_______ is more important then me." What can" ______" be that is more important then me? How about:

-your job
-your friends
-your computer
-your hobby
-your car
-your ex
-your children
-your pet
-your video games
-your church (or ministry)
-your TV shows

etc, etc.

Ever experienced any of these (or been "accused" of them)? The worst thing you can do if someone tells you they feel this way is try to convince them why it is not true (especially if it is your spouse)! Count is as blessing that they have had the courage to share it with you, even if they don't do it in the most courteous way and even if you don't agree with it. Something is wrong and needs to be dealt with. You now have before you a great opportunity to grow your relationship. What are you going to do with it?

My advice is to learn to be careful about the messages our actions have on others and let others know about the interpretations we are making about their actions. "Actions speak louder then words" is so true. I like it when my wife tells me how she's interpreting my actions, it helps us get stuff out in the open and avoid later conflict. Often in counselling I'll ask someone "What's the message you are getting from your spouse?" and the other person is shocked when they hear it. What message are you getting that you need to share with someone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i really like this post..
this kind of 'wrong action reading problems' happens in all kind of relationships..

I will post it in my blog so my friends will read it and be blessed too.. =)

Rina /