Monday, September 1, 2008

Talk Less, Listen More. Dammit.

Yes, I see how when I get stressed out or emotional it comes out as verbal diarrhea. I see how I should "sit with" my emotions rather than exploding them all over everyone else, so to speak. I know I need to work on closing my mouth, asking more questions, generally breathing into the stressor, etc. Dammit. I don't wanna. I want yell and scream and freak out and have no responsibility for my actions.

OK, not none. But not ALL.

I mean, when your kid is almost a block away and running for the street and then you can't see him anymore, you should get to freak out a little. Or a lot. You should get to yell his name and then lecture him mercilessly. Right? I mean, asking him questions and exploring his motivation for his action would get you further and deepen the trust level between parent and child, but then where would I put my freak out? Where would I shove those feelings, or maybe what would I transmute them into?!

I know I need to listen more and talk less. When my partner is upset about something, I tend to point out the patterns I see, talk to her about similar issues I have, and do other completely well intentioned things that piss her off to no end. She wants me to just listen. And I try, I really do (before I say my stuff), but somehow it is not enough.

I have thought about creating the habit of taking a deep breath before I speak. Not between sentences, but before the start of any paragraph I say. It sounds like such a good idea, with such a peaceful intention. I could take a moment to be mindful of my words, my intentions, my reactions. I haven't done it because I feel SUCH resistance to it. I feel like after 10 minutes I would look like a cartoon character who had eaten a really hot pepper... all red in the face, with steam pouring out my ears, jumping around yelling words you type only using the shift and the number keys.

But I think I am going to try. 'Cause as much as I DON'T want to have to take full responsibility for my words when I am uber-stressed, I can't find anyone else who is willing to do it. Dammit.

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