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Grunt If You Can Hear Me

     I'm not exactly sure if I am lowering the bar or learning to become a better communicator.  You see, I just found myself tiptoeing to my son's bedroom (as not to wake the other family members), slowly opening his door, and quietly saying, "Son, you have 10 minutes," letting him know it was almost time to get ready for school.  There was a pause.  It lingered, and of course, I wanted to make sure that his synapses were all firing and had indeed received my verbal message, so I said to him, "Grunt if you can hear me."  Well, lo and behold . . . out from underneath the blue and tan comforter all rumpled into a heap, came beckoning a soft but definitely clear, "Ung."  Eureka!  My message was delivered successfully.

     Ladies, get ready and hold on for a TRUTH of a LIFETIME.  Get the pad and pen out to jot this one down because it will change your daily living forever.  And I do mean, FOR-E-VER!  More words do not mean better or clearer communication.  I'm going to say it again and using fewer words to prove my point.  Fewer words get more attention.  Now, that may come as a shock, especially living in a day and age where hopping up off a seat, getting in someone's face and /or using a tone with someone is more than just the norm.  Advertisements, TV programs, movies, etc are full of it.  (Now read that sentence again, but please do so aloud and stress the "full of it" part because that is the truth.)  Those examples of communication are so opposite as to what God would have us do. Proverbs 15:1 tells us the best way to communicate as it states "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (NIV).

      Now, let me let you in on a little secret.  Too many words sound like clanging symbols to the majority of the male species.  That doesn't mean the men in your life have no desire to hear what you have to say, because they REALLY do!  It's just that they want it done in as few words as possible.  Are they being rude?  No.  Are they trying to be mean?  Absolutely not.  Men were created to be warriors and protectors.  Think about the kinds of communication that occur out on a battlefield or in an at-risk situation.  It's clear and concise.  And if we would like to be "heard" more clearly by the men in our lives, then we must learn to speak like a warrior.  HI -YA!  (That's supposed to be a karate chop sound for those of you who missed it.)

     So, are you ready to ask yourself FOUR EASY questions that will sharpen your communication skills today?  Well, then let's get started! 

  1. Does It Need To Be Said?  The very first question I ask myself now.  "Is what I'm getting ready to say REALLY important?"  Now ladies, I know that everything we have to say IS important, but it could be the very thing that turns off the male ear from listening to even more important things.  I treat "speaking up" as a shopping purchase.  If in doubt, I give myself 24 hours to think about it.  If it's still pressing on my mind, then I speak it.  If not, then I just throw it out with all the other daily things that ebb and flow through my brain.
  2. Is It Encouraging or Building Up?  Let me be the first one to tell you that sometimes I just get tired.  I do not see any persons stepping over themselves to be my cheerleader;  HOWEVER, wouldn't I love it if I had a few more cheerleaders?  As wife and mother, we are called to "Rah Rah Rah" and if what we're getting ready to say could even be misconstrued as a possible tearing down, we need to go back to Question Number 1, ”Does it need to be said?"
  3. Is This The Best Time?  I don't know about you, but sometimes I just blurt things out because I'm afraid I'll forget to mention them later.  That's quite normal as we juggle many different balls and spin many different plates, and ALL at the same time, too! However, if you were carrying around a big, juicy green watermelon and your husband was brushing his teeth trying to get ready for work, would you just chuck that thing right at him, hoping he'd catch it?  No, you wouldn't.  (Though the mental picture really brings a chuckle to my morning.)  Well, because we as women juggle so much at any given moment, we think that we can just hurl out orders, pitch some information, and throw out ideas - all before 7:45am.  WE CAN'T - not if we still want the men in our lives to love us at 7:46am.  Ladies, to them it's like pitching watermelons their way.  Slow down . . . and ask yourself . . . is this the best time (for them - not for you), and if you're really concerned about forgetting, then write it down and trust the Lord to bring it to mind later.
  4. Is This Clear and Concise?  The reality is this.  When you speak clearly and concisely, the guy in your life will ask you more questions about a particular topic because he really is interested.  You haven't dropped all the information in front of him to "sort" through.  He gets to pick and choose the questions he wants to ask, and you will feel fulfilled that you're having a meaningful conversation.  Just the other day, I was wearing my old school sweatshirt (I had gotten an extra large at the time, so please do not think I have maintained my same size all these years . . . I wish.)  Well, my son looked at me and said, "Mom, you were a cheerleader?"  I wanted to tell him alllll about my high school days and the year my knee cap popped out and how God used that it in my life to bring about humility so that the next year when I made cheerleading I didn't think I was all that and a bag of chips and . . . well, you get the picture.  But instead, I just answered his question with a "yes."  Well, wouldn't you know that (after he picked himself up off the floor - trying to get over the concept of "his mother" having a life before him) he started to ask me questions about when I was a teenager.  This brought about a clear and divine understanding to my son that his mother may in fact know something - not because I'm so smart, but because I have felt the pains and joys of going through the teenage years.  We shared a special and tender moment and it all occurred because I spoke a simple word.

      Well, I am so excited for you to try out these four "sure-fire" communication tips.  I have a difficult time remembering things, so I put important information to hand motions.  I've included them below if you'd like to try them out.

            1.  Question Mark drawn in air with fingertip (Does it need to be said?)

            2.  Muscle made by raising arm up (Is it encouraging or building up?)

            3.  Time by pointing to wristwatch (Is this the best time?)

            4.  Finger pointing from mouth outward (Is it clear and concise?)

      Way to go with wanting to do an even better job in communicating.  I'm here as your cheerleader to tell you, You are already doing a GREAT job.  These simple tips are just to support and encourage you to do even better.  You are a Super Lady.  Now who's up for a piece of chocolate cheesecake?  ("Now she's speaking my language.")

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

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