We have arrived at the dawn of a New Year. We are hopeful (perhaps daunted) with expectations of what this year will bring and what we will bring to it. I am not big on resolutions, but I do enjoy a good theme. So this year my “theme” is honesty. In short, this is the year that I stop expecting people to read my mind.
I have a vivid image of a young girl visiting our home when I was a teenager. She spotted the cookie jar, put her small hands on the counter, peered up with wide eyes and said: those cookies SURE DO LOOK GOOD. We all chuckled. So cute. Clearly she wanted a cookie but she wanted us to offer it to her, she wasn’t going to ask for it directly. This sort of behavior (I have discovered) is not so cute in adults.
Sometimes I expect people to just know what I want. And since I am being honest, I sometimes expect to GET what I want. All this without a direct word from me.
None of this feels good. A) Generally speaking, people are lousy mind readers B) I do not enjoy having words caught in my throat, trying to get out but not able to, C) I spend wasted moments feeling wronged or ignored while knowing deep down it is my own doing and D) this behavior in other people makes me nuts! Ere go, I am making people (people I love and care about) nuts. Yuck.
Sure it would be nice if people could read our minds (selectively, of course). But wouldn’t it be nicer if we could say what we feel in the moments that matter? I strongly suspect that this would strengthen our relationships. Clear, honest communication has a way of doing that.
Why is it that the space between our feelings and our words can seem insurmountable? Maybe we don’t want to inconvenience anyone. We may be rejected. It may seem strange to people that we feel this way. We don’t want to appear selfish. And let’s be honest, we may feel that our dear ones should know what we feel or want because they should know us. When they don’t we are hurt. It feels like they aren’t paying attention or, worse, that they don’t care.
Perhaps this year we can give them the benefit of the doubt and practice making our wants and needs clearer. Take the guess work out of it so that we are dealing in reality. Honesty. Truth. The best way to get that cookie in the cookie jar is to simply ask for it. Unless you are small and cute. Then a well timed hint should do the trick! 😉