Thursday, September 25, 2008

Looking as if you mean it?

'I'm going to let you go.'

Good news if your Dad has backed down and you are now going to that gig you had set your heart on.

Bad news if your boss has just called you into her office about the latest round of redundancies.

Very bad news if your rescuer is holding you over a 5,000 foot drop and his grip is slipping.

Many of us spend our days reading too much into the looks, glances and nuances of the cut and thrust of everyday language. 'It wasn't what you said it was the way you said it.' Yeah, I've had that one before now. You? Or, 'I've been thinking about what you said.' Sometimes we reflect on things no-one ever meant us to consider. I once told a colleague a joke. Three days later he told me he'd been pondering upon it. He was meant to laugh but thought it was told against him.

When I'm tired my visual interface goes down, as someone once put it to me. When I try to speak something goes wrong with the matching expression. So I make a joke and look vicious. I enjoy a meal but look as if I'm hating it. If I concentrate really hard I look tired. I think it's a design fault.

Yet if we stop and think for too long before uttering, our conversation becomes stilted. Loses its edge. Those egg-shells look very close together. Shan't walk.

Back to the mantra 'insensitivity is the tax you pay on wit.' I guess it's time to pay up.

By the way I haven't had time to clean the bathroom mirror properly. And that reflects very badly on me.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Loved this post keep blogging!

Caroline Too said...

oh dear, st... have you just had one of your quarterly tussles with hurting someone you didn't mean to...

I don't think that it's just wit that heads into single armed combat with insensitivity

radicalism does as well, just last week I railed at a PCC againts services as a way of doing church and others on the committee heard me criticise them for their services... sigh...

I didn't mean to but...

I guess repentence, sadness, regret can be the tax on trying to do new things when they don't quite work out...

and I suspect that you, st, have to pay a double load of taxes... that's a high price but

it's worth it though, plod on!

Andy said...

We can't be held responsible for how people perceive what we say. They need to be responsible for their own thoughts, feelings and reactions to what we say.

However, we need to be responsible for the relationships we have and if there is hurt, intentionally or unintentional then we need to be responsible for making right the harm done.

Disagreement, hurt, mistakes, miscommunication and misunderstanding if resolved appropriately create a depth of relationship that very little else can generate.

It's like if we can disagree that much, or forgive when that has happened then I don't need to worry so much...our relationship has survived...I can have confidence.

If we have God at the center of our lives then hopefully we will act and speak in love...but sometimes we won't or sometimes there will be mistakes. These are OK...if resolved...and much healthier than walking on egg shells, not being ourselves, being stilted.