Communication is challenging, and yesterday I had some experiences that reminded me how difficult it is, maybe especially in writing, but I’m not sure about that. I think voice and 3D are fraught with dangers, too. I have a friend with an old Golden retriever. The dog is having trouble going up and down the small flights of stairs in my friend’s house. The friend is anxious that he’s going to have to put the dog to sleep soon.

I said, “I was thinking that B doesn’t get a lot of exercise. Maybe if you just started taking him on short walks he’d regain some muscle. It would help with his arthritis, too.” (I know this because I have arthritis.) My goal — to give my friend something positive to do with his dog that might help (and his dog might like). I got?

“Why are you always telling me what to do? I don’t want to argue.” I wasn’t telling him what to do, and I wasn’t arguing. BUT to assert that would lead to an argument AND whether or not he walked his dog wasn’t my business. I remembered again that, in one way or another, we’re all fucked up.

A couple more experiences like that via my blog yesterday, and, this morning I realized (again), “It’s very very difficult to make sense to other people. Everyone (me too) is in their own head, and we don’t always (ever?) understand what another person says.” That’s why we often think, “I wish I’d said this instead of that.” It’s possibly exacerbated because in the last year we’ve all lived a lot more in our own little worlds added to the increasingly polemical and aggressive social and political culture everywhere. So much of my social life has been here on this blog.

This morning the band-aid fell off the site of the vaccine, and I was happy to see it is a yellow band-aid with Daffy Duck on it. The side effects are a sore arm and a little tiredness. The backbone seems fine.

24 thoughts on “Band-Aid

  1. Perhaps your comment to your friend ripped a bandaid off for him … a bit of anxiety about his own lack of exercise?

  2. Communication is always a tricky business… Face to face and we still don’t see eye to eye! I don’t know which is worse, written or verbal. Either way everyone puts the words through their own personal filters resulting in what you said, what I heard, what you meant, what I understood, what you thought I heard, what I thought you said…. it is a miracle that we can communicate at all!!

  3. The dog needs exercise. It could also benefit from some medication this stuff works miracles. Lucy dog was struggling until she had these and now she can jump on the bed.

  4. We basically haven’t talked in a year–muffled words through a mask are so hard–and Zoom doesn’t count. It is so hard to tell if people want advice or just want to vent. Your idea was a good idea. I get tired of smiling and nodding, but I find myself doing that more and more. Sad, isn’t it? **And don’t argue with me!!** 🤣🤣

    • You know, it’s hard enough to know what people want or are saying in the best of times. I hate being vented at when that’s most of what a person does (as in the case of this friend). I’m a person who likes to find solutions to problems; I don’t think venting is very useful, but I know there are people for whom it’s important. My mom was one of those. She wanted other people to be her “sounding board;” she didn’t want to know what they thought. And you’re right; we don’t “talk” any more. I wonder who we’re going to be this time next year?

  5. Communication through texting is horrible. You just reminded me that a message my daughter just sent to me was probably not meant to sound mean. I think she was just busy.

  6. One big lesson I’ve learned: It’s almost never not about me. When I receive a reaction to an email or text that seems odd, crazy, or mean, I remind myself that it’s likely a reflection of what’s going on with that person rather in that moment, than a reaction to me personally. Once I remember that, I can ignore it, or respond with greater compassion and understanding if warranted.

  7. It’s a tough world. I think sometimes we just want to vent and have someone say, I hear ya without giving us the solution. Why is that? Is it because deep down we know the answer but we don’t want to hear someone else say it because then we might have to act on it or we have to face our own guilt???
    Glad you got the shot!! My sister gets her second dose next week. It’ll be months for me…

  8. I used to draw on a website and someone was really rude to me about a comment I’d made (and taken it wrong way). I wanted to keep the friendship going, so did a really detailed drawing of something he liked. We stayed friends. The trouble with typing words is you don’t see the nuances that you would hear in speech…

  9. yep. communication is fraught. I’ve come to recognize that there is an internal logic to most choices, even if they seem batshit to the outside observer. My years as professional listener have made it so I usually manage to keep my mouth from dropping open in astonishment, although I still fail from time to time. And yes, what we mean and what is heard/understood is often so different. Reminds me of the cartoons around “what you say” and what the pet hears. And the charlie brown shows with the adults sounding indecipherable to the kids. Glad you got your shot- I’m now #747 in line. Started at 2300 a few weeks ago. Soon, I hope.

    • I hope your shot comes soon. Mine was a total surprise to me. I expected to be turned away.

      I plan to attempt to listen more and say less. I’ve realized that people are not paying attention anyway. Maybe I’m not either 😆

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