Life from the rear-view mirror

Let me explain….! Vol 27

April 5, 2013 | Comment

165288_1689748758017_7907800_nIt’s rare that you can fix a misunderstanding. It can happen…but it’s rare. I know. I have tried. It doesn’t matter what the misunderstanding is or is about. Facts are ignored. It all becomes an emotional event…with the potential to escalate disproportionately to the misunderstanding itself.

With every effort to explain why you said what you said, or explain what you did all by itself…you dig another shovel deeper of “oh sure…” or… “you knew exactly what you were doing” or “that’s what I expected of you” Sheesh!

It’s hard to get a sincere “at bat” to explain or clarify your words or actions without getting “beaned.” But that is the nature of a misunderstanding.

It’s not what you say…it’s what they hear. Likewise, it’s not what you do but how it’s perceived that matters. Sometimes misunderstandings are simply unavoidable. But there is a pro-active methodology you can employ that might help avoid future misunderstandings:

1) Don’t just “hear” …actively “listen”. You have to engage. Ask clarifying questions…be sure you understand what was said. Don’t fall into the “yes dear” syndrome.

2) Don’t jump to conclusions. Before you determine how you’re going to react…get the facts. We all have off days. And we all do dumb things from time to time.

3) Listen with your heart…not just your ears. Was there some reason that caused the conversation or event. Try to understand the “why” of it.

4) If you are hurt or upset…don’t respond right away. Take some time. Then respond thoughtfully and in love.

5) Just forget about it…let it go. Sometimes the hardest thing to do…but often the wisest.

Even after all this, the misunderstanding may still stand…because misunderstandings are difficult to fix….but don’t let it be because of you. Just as Christ sacrificially reconciled us to himself…do the same for others. Even though “He was not willing that any should perish”….some will.

Romans 12:18 The apostle Paul says…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.


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