System Shock!

That hurts!

That hurts!

So, I was considering a home remodeling project when my wife said to me, “Clearly you aren’t capable of handling this, so let’s just go ahead and get some competent husbands involved.”

I know. Can you believe it?

Well, you shouldn’t. She didn’t really say that.

But she gave me that look, you know?

Actually, no, she didn’t give me a look either.

The project was something I hadn’t done before, and I was hesitating. So Shari offered her help in the form of a reasonable suggestion. Why don’t you ask some of the guys for help?  I responded with irritation. Why?

What she said passed through my filter. So I “heard” what she didn’t say.

Earlier in my life I endured some painful experiences that led me to conclude that I was incompetent. So I started walking through life with a limp, feeling a deep sense of inadequacy.

My wife’s suggestion touched that vulnerable place in my heart and ZAP!  It hurt!

My friends, Greg and Erin Smalley, call these sensitive areas “hot buttons.”  Often in our conversations, much more is going on under the surface–at the heart level—than either party realizes.  A comment can turn into a vulnerability-seeking missile that finds its target –a painful wound or a deep fear. We’re shocked when we re-visit our pain or re-live our fear.  We react. And nobody knows what just happened.  I learned that from Greg and Erin.

So, it can be a good idea to have another conversation about the last conversation.  If we do some detective work, we might discover what’s really going on inside of us, and cultivate a mutual understanding that strengthens our relationships.

Have you ever experienced a painful shock?

–No cats were harmed in the making this cartoon.

6 thoughts on “System Shock!

  1. Another significant capital “T” Truth woven through and through with your trademark humor, Dave. And such good insight to have another conversation about the last conversation. And sometimes have a conversation about the “unspoken” conversation that goes on in your head — and doesn’t include the other person, but affects them.

    • Thank you for your kind response. And what a great suggestion about the unspoken conversations inside our heads that affect others. I will have to explore that because too much others-affecting conversation goes on in my own head.

  2. We call that conversation “talking about talking about it.” 🙂 Your blog is amazing! You have so much talent! And you have some really cool friends who taught you about buttons! haha!

    • Thank you, Edie, for your good encouragement. I am so very pleased that you dropped in today. You are always welcome. Beth Vogt is a talented writer and a gifted encourager. I am very fortunate to have her support.

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