Pull My Finger

Gina and I had a good, hearty laugh the other night.

While I was brushing my teeth, I remembered that I had to get something from the laundry room so I went over there, where Gina was pulling clothes out of the dryer. Because I had my toothbrush in my mouth, I couldn’t say anything so I simply pointed to what I needed. When Gina saw me pointing, she instinctively pulled my finger, which caught me off guard. You see, I wanted her to simply hand me the mop but she thought I wanted her to pull my finger.

You have to understand that whenever I made this gesture before, I was hoping that she would pull my finger – you know, to “get the prize.” (I’ve pretty much got the timing down by the way!) This time, that was not my intention at all! We were laughing so hard that both of us were crying. Good times!

We get misunderstood all the time, don’t we? We mean one thing but the other person thinks we mean something totally different. It can be frustrating when that happens. Misunderstanding is a natural part of human communication, both verbal and nonverbal. Knowing that, let’s be careful about how we react when the other person doesn’t quite “get us.” Instead of getting angry and frustrated at the other person, like we do so often, try to see things from his or her perspective. Maybe, just like my wife, they had good reason to interpret things the way they did.

As you do this, maybe instead of getting mad, you too will get a good laugh out of it.

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