Thursday, October 17, 2013

Step Fifteen: Change What You're Asking For

You may think that with all of my posts that Mr. E and I communicate extremely well. For the most part that's true...we've been together for five and a half years, so I think we've definitely hit that stage where we understand a lot of the motivations behind each others actions.

But I wasn't born with telepathy. And neither was Mr. E.

This can lead us to some pretty thorny arguments! In general, when I'm doing a task (dishes, errands, making dinner) my thought process is two or three steps ahead of what's at hand. I multitask a lot, so I'm usually thinking something like..."1/2 tsp of salt...1/2 tsp of salt...I need to change my mailing address for my Old Navy credit card...Old Navy has shoes on sale right now...Ripley ate a pair of my shoes last week...Ripley needs to go out...I'll do it and take the trash out at the same time...I found our TV desk by the trash...I need to dust the TV"
Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: When I can't sleep, I try counting sheep, but my ADD kicks in. One sheep, two sheep, cow, pig, Old MacDonald had a farm. Hey Macarena!
I'm learning that this is not the way that Mr. E works. Frankly, I'm learning that this isn't the way a lot of people work! So while I'm reciting a to-do list to myself, committing it to memory and actively thinking about each project simultaneously, I might be talking at the same time about a completely different subject.

Mr. E, on the other hand, needs one task to be finished before he can be told the next one- he likes to focus on one thing at a time, to be present and thorough about each individual task. My brother is the same way; so much so that I wish I could go back in time and implement that lesson earlier. Sorry, Colin.

I'm still learning how to communicate with my husband (and other people in my life who think this way), but I'm already making pretty good use of the information. When we get frustrated with one another because I'm six steps ahead and he can't catch up, I remind myself to stop. Slow down. To change what I'm asking of Mr. E.

There's no right or wrong way between the two of us, but there are certainly better and worse ways we communicate. I have to take it upon myself to change how I'm asking for something to be done, rather than assume that everyone's on the same page. I like to think that my example is useful for Mr. E when he can't seem to communicate with me, either.

I hope.

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