We'll Talk About it Later...
When I was a child, my mother's most-used phrase was, "We'll talk about it later."
Later, of course, never came.
If for some reason, I was successful in pushing the issue, she nearly always simply continued what she was doing before I interrupted her.
Without making eye contact, she would absentmindedly say, "Uh huh. Uh huh." The whole time I was talking.
And then, more often than not, she would end the conversation with a comment from her along the lines of, "Well, I don't know what to tell you."
I knew I never got her full attention, but when I tried to call her on it, she was always able to repeat at least the last sentence or two I said to her.
She was half-heartedly listening. But she wasn't HEARING me. She never HEARD me.
It left me so terribly frustrated.
It made me feel so...dismissed. Diminished. Without value.
And it set me up for a host of unacceptable communication techniques later in life that I then had to unlearn (but that's a story for another day).
But here's the unexpected gift from came from all that childhood mess.
Without any true awareness on my part, it became my personal mission to make everyone I talk to feels seen, heard, and valued.
To have true interaction.
To care what others have to say.
To deeply HEAR them.
I make sure to make people feel valued and included. I religiously make eye contact. Particularly if I'm in a group, I want everyone to know I see them.
I don't shy away from their stories or their conflicts.
With all my heart, I try to offer whatever wisdom and/or advice I can share.
If I can't, I acknowledge the conflict and their emotion around it. I don't wave it away with platitudes.
No one will ever feel dismissed or diminished on my watch.
What was the childhood paradigm that you had to heal from? How did you do it? Please drop a comment below and let us know.
Sending you all so much love. ❤️ Alissa