This past week I had the joy of babysitting one of my precious granddaughters, Scout Jubilee, 2 days in a row. We had such fun together, however, we also faced a real challenge! Scout is now a big talker, firmly expressing her thoughts about many different elements of her little life. To her, she is speaking very clearly and certainly loud enough for her Mimi to fully understand what she is trying to convey.
Imagine her dismay when she looked into my very confused face and heard me say numerous times “Scout, Mimi doesn’t understand what you are saying.” Scout kept saying over and over “Ne Ne” and I kept asking her about different options to unlock the meaning of the words that clearly held a strong meaning for her! After about and hour of trying to unlock the mystery I decided she was probably a little tired so I would kiss her and carry her upstairs for her afternoon nap. The moment I headed up the stairs Scout started to say “Ne ne” all over again; but this time with her little head lying exhausted on my shoulder! And then it hit me, this little darling had been trying so hard to let me know she was very tired and wanted to go “night, night”!!
Because of my inability to clarify her words, I completely missed what she was longing to express! ( she slept for a little over 3 hours, by the way!)
I have pondered this experience with Scout and began to wonder how often we are all on the expressing side and the understanding side of a conversation. I wonder how often we fail to express our heartfelt thoughts in a way the someone can truly understand what we are longing to say? I wonder how often we fail to hear the real meaning of the words someone is trying to express to us?
Engaging in quality conversations can be a real art sometimes and I believe if we really want to understand someone else, if we really want to be able to respond in such a way as to make a difference, then we need to keep clarifying until we can see or hear that we have “got it”!! Are there any conversations in your relationships that are needing further clarification? Are there questions needing to be asked for greater understanding? The efforts to understand will make a big difference.
“The single biggest problem in a conversation is illusion that one has taken place!” George Bernard Shaw