I took on a new discipline for myself- More often than I like, I do not fully understand what people say to me (ever happened to you?), especially when they make little ‘jokey’ comments (sounds familiar?), and the worst- I find myself smiling even if I do not understand the joke (you too???)… I feel ashamed to share this… though I also feel relief to hear more and more that I am not the only one who fakes (out of discomfort) in such moment…
The discipline I took for myself is to express myself to the person each time when I am not 100% sure to understand (even if explaining kills the joke).
I am amazed by how many times I am actually not sure to understand what people say, and I find it challenging to actually say it out loud.
Few days ago, a friend was reacting jokingly on something I said, and he was laughing. I was smiling/laughing but then realised- I am really unsure if I understand the joke. I then asked him- “I smile but actually I pretend to understand your joke… Can you tell me what do you mean with it?” When he explained, I then got it- I got that he completely didn’t understand what I said just before. When I shared that with him, he told me that he himself was pretending to understand me, and that his joke came from this discomfort!
Then we both laughed, and this time, a real laugh- laughing about ourselves, laughing about how scared we are to say- “sorry, I didn’t understand what you said”.
And to put it in a broader perspective: Each time I judge someone, is because I do not yet understand them fully.
I want to give myself and others the gift of- ‘Don’t give up on people’, and take few more moments, to be sure, I fully get their message/behavior.
I enjoy a lot my new discipline 🙂