My mother has been taking Life Coaching classes at a nearby college. She’s been a Human Resources manager for years (maybe even decades…. I lose track), and she sees life coaching as a natural extension of HR. I’m thrilled that she’s taking these classes because HOO BOY does my life need some coaching! And who better to coach my life than MAH MOMMAH?
I kid. I do not need my mother to coach my life. At 38 years old, I believe her work here is done.
But it has been interesting to hear about the things she’s learning. Each week she enlightens me with some tidbit she picked up in class. This week, for instance, she learned that it’s never NEVER a good idea to ask someone “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?”. Because? Because it immediately puts someone on the defensive.
Isn’t that so true?
How many times have you looked at your child after they’ve committed some wrongdoing and said “why did you DO that?”, and don’t they ALWAYS respond with a defensive tone? I know, right! Instead, it’s best to say “let’s think of a way we can do this differently next time”. Which would work SO MUCH BETTER, wouldn’t it? Because now you’re working from a place of problem solving, instead of making defensive excuses.
I think this goes further* than a parent/child relationship. My husband is the WORST about saying things like “why would ANYONE do it this way?” And always, it’s the way *I* do it. And of course most of the time he’s absolutely right to question my odd behavior because his way really IS better, but inevitably I end up defending myself because, well, he makes me feel defensive!
And I’m sure HE is the ONLY one who ever does this. I am perfect, you know.
Dave and I learned very early in our marriage (from a book? a wise friend? I can’t remember.) that there are two words that are forbidden in a marriage: ALWAYS and NEVER. Those two words are “fightin’ words”, we were told. They are guaranteed to start an argument. Try it sometime – “You never put your laundry away” or “You’re always getting home late”. I promise you’ll fight.
And now I’m going to add to the list of “fightin’ words”. I think “Why would you DO that?” needs to be on the list, don’t you? Do you and your spouse have “forbidden” words that, when spoken, guarantee a fight?
*did you know that “further” is used for “metaphysical distance” and “farther” is used for “physical distance”? Well I didn’t, until I wrote this blog post. So there’s your Nugget of Wisdom for today. The End.