For those who didn’t know, I’ve signed with a new publisher and my first book out with them, That Think You Do, should be available late Oct-Nov ’22.
As always, let me know what you think.
Avoiding Deadly Silences
You know those movies about families’ hidden stories? Everybody’s happy and smiling and chuckles on the outside and anger and distrust and betrayal are like lava flows on the inside waiting to erupt leaving death and destruction in their wake?
Usually the climax is around a meal, a dinner table. Some little comment is said by this person and that person erupts. Or the child says something that only a child could say and the family suddenly has to deal with great uncle Poopah’s crimes against humanity.
There are reasons these types of things usually happen during meals. I’ve mentioned in presentations and trainings that there are two times when humans are biologically most vulnerable: when we’re putting stuff into our bodies and when we’re pushing stuff out of our bodies. Most people have had the experience of gathering around a table with an extended family and friends. Few people have then had the experience of gathering en masse in the loo.
The science of group, tribal and family behavior aside, there’s often much that goes unsaid in human relationships. You don’t like that they put dishes in the sink rather than the dishwasher. They don’t like the way you put toilet paper on the roll (men, did you know this one?).
Seem a little…umm…ridiculous? Small? Meaningless? Irrelevant?
Of course they do and of course they are. Their very triviality is what gives them their power.
Your significant other should know better, right? I mean, who doesn’t know there’s a preferred direction that toilet paper should come off the roll? Why would anybody leave dishes in the sink when it’s just as easy to put them in the dishwasher?
Here’s what you may not know about these little irritations that cause such major eruptions — people, feeling their life going out of control, will exert increasing control over trivial annoyances before they make any attempt to deal with major annoyances. The mistaken(!!!) belief is that by controlling the small they’ll gain control over the large.
Who Holds Back More, Women or Men?
What’s your guess? And let me up the ante while I’m asking. Do the genders go silent for the same or different reasons? Studies done at Fairhaven College and the University of Houston indicate that men resort to silence more often than women do but the reasons are different. Men use silence to maintain power (to keep their partner “on their toes”) or because they simply don’t know how to express themselves (and women everywhere are nodding in agreement. “You needed a scientific study to know this?”, they’re asking).
Women use silence because culturally and historically they have been second class citizens (women are really nodding now). Second class citizens’ role is to listen, not to speak, hence their emotions, feelings, wants, needs, and desires go unannounced by them and unnoticed by their partners.
What is true for both sexes? That self-silencing is dangerous. It causes depression and the more one self-silences the more one becomes depressed. Depression untreated is a death of the soul, folks, so let me share some methods for bringing both your and your partner’s souls back to life.
Avoiding the Silences
While there is no guarantee, talking and sharing our wants, needs, and desires often cures depression… or at least lets us know the individual we’re talking and sharing with isn’t as involved in the relationship as we’d like them to be. Talking and sharing — using certain guidelines — allows us to take back control or at least know what we can control in our lives.
And you need to know that talking and sharing — avoiding the silences — is hard work if you’ve never done it before. I wish I could say it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s as lively and exhilarating as a game of Stratego and I’d rather have you err on the side of caution than not. Here are some rules to help start the conversation and avoid the silences: Continue reading “That Think You Do Chapter 2 – Avoiding Deadly Silences”