Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Confessions of an Indirect Communicator

I love my husband.
I think he's wonderful.

But there is this one thing he does which really drives me nuts.

He says things like, "We should organize the utility room."
Or, "Someone needs to clean up the yard."
Or even, "Avocados have lots of health benefits."

I tend to follow up those statements with questions like, "What part of 'we' is 'me'?"
And, "Are you expecting a volunteer?"
And of course, "Are you saying you'd like me to use them in my cooking?"

Call me crazy, but I think a person should say what they mean. I work hard enough trying to keep it together around here - I don't think I should have to put forth more effort trying to understand indirect communication.
Oh, how easy it is to start feeling self-righteous about trivial things!

Sooooooo, that little piece of background leads to my confession.

The other morning I wanted to remind Joshua to unload the dishwasher before he went to school. The boy doesn't need to be reminded to charge his cell phone every night, or check his Facebook page, or get a snack after school and before bed - but somehow that dishwasher has a habit of getting away from him.
So, anyway, as I was saying. I wanted to make sure Joshua unloaded the dishwasher. But I knew if I simply reminded him, he would call me annoying and say, "I know, Mom!" So instead, I said, "Joshua, when you have unloaded the dishwasher, will you make sure to put your initials on the chart?" He agreed politely, and I was amused by my clever way of communicating. I had achieved my goal of reminding Joshua to unload the dishwasher - without nagging or coming across as annoying.
But just as I was about to pat myself on the back for being such an indirect innovative communicator, I realized something.
That thing I just did?
Drives me nuts!



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I am guilty of indirect communicating sometimes. I'm sure it drives other people crazy, too. Thanks for the reminder.


TheUnSoccerMom said...

This post made laugh out loud! I sooooo do that!!!!

It's the whole: let them think it's their idea and they'll do it/love it/embrace it technique...


Ronel Sidney said...

LOL :)

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - I suppose there are times when it's appropriate...I just thought it was funny that I caught myself doing it - when it bugs me so much. *wink*

Jodi - Glad you enjoyed a laugh. Maybe that 'let em think it's their idea' thing is why why it drives me nuts when Brian talks that way. I don't want him playing mind games with me. (I clearly am at the disadvantage in them. LOL)

Ronel - Thanks for stopping by. :o)

gianna said...

I don't think you were indirect at all! You didn't say, "We need to empty the dishwasher." Or "someone needs to empty the dishwasher."
You said what you expected and added to it!
Nothing wrong with that!

Genny said...

Great post, Karen. Loved it!

I haven't been by in a while... I hope you are well! It's great to see you again.


Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Thanks for the support. :o) The reason I considered it indirect is because I was trying to come up with a way to get what I wanted (an empty dishwasher) without actually asking for it.
But I'll go with your explanation. I like that better! *wink*

Genny - It's great to see you again, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Sara K. said...

This is great! I totally get it -- from both angles! I would rather have someone come right out and say, "I think it would be great if you would cook with avoocados" versus a subtle hint in their comments -- because then you're stuck with reading into everything people say to find the hidden messages... and sometimes there IS no hidden message, which can get you into trouble. Yet I know that I am often an indirect communicator myself... especially when it's a subject I'm expecting resistance about! Hah!

Irritable Mother said...

Sara - You nailed it! Reading into comments can bring trouble.
Maybe that's why I prefer the direct method. Cuz then I don't read into anything...And believe me, I am good at looking for those hidden messages. :o(