Perhaps, the most effective way to love and value others
One of my twins and I are very similar in the way we interact and communicate.
When sharing stories, we talk over each other and interrupt to say things that are completely irrelevant to the story such as, “oh my gosh, so you saw her new haircut then?!”
This is how we honor each other and express that we are truly interested in the conversation.
For us, interrupting equals engaged.
Recently, my other twin was telling me a story and in my typical loving, communication style, I interrupted several times to clarify or interject my thoughts.
She finally stopped talking and said to me “Mom. I don’t feel as though you are listening”.
I was taken back a little. Of course I was listening. How else would I have known the appropriate question to ask? Or to interrupt to tell her that I was proud of her.
Having 5 daughters, 7 years apart, gave me much opportunity to come face to face with personality differences. While one felt so loved by undivided attention, the other just wanted to unwrap a box. Discipline that was effective on one, not so much for another.
I really want to be a person who loves and values others in the way they want/need to feel loved and valued. I want to celebrate our differences. I set out to learn and have, over the years, practiced a variety of creative endeavors. But the more I learned and the more I tried various things, the more this became apparent- I just don’t know. We are all wired just a bit different and if we are being real, somedays we feel and therefore act, different than other days.
Armed with the knowledge that I just don’t know, I have more recently discovered what may be the most effective way for me to love and value others.
Just go ahead and ask questions.
“Did you feel disrespected by what I just did/said?”
“How have I showed you lately, that you are loved by me?”
“Do you need me to just listen and hug right now or speak into this situation?”
“Would you rather have a new Northface vest or a date?”
And perhaps the best question of all, “Should I save my questions/comments for the end of your story or ask them as I think of them?”
Just perhaps don’t interrupt their story to ask.