Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Something is not right here


It’s a vital part of who we are. God created us all to be communicators whether we want to or not. In my book it is the most important part of a relationship between two people. Whether it be communicating with your boss, spouse, friend, or potential lover it’s imperative to figure out how best to communicate with each other early on.

It’s tricky because people communicate in so many different ways. Some people communicate better verbally, some better with actions, and even some better through written word and song. It’s all acceptable, yet confusing at times.

You see, I like to consider myself a processor. I tend to listen, soak it all in and then sit on things for a day or two before I can come to terms with what has been said. Now, I don’t do this on little things, like what kind of milk to buy, 2% or skim, that would be crazy…but I do process on the bigger things in life. Things like whether or not to send my kids to summer camp, or whether or not to approach my boss on a sticky subject matter, or even whether or not to go out on a date with a cute electrician (more on that at a later date). Those are definitely all “process worthy.”

But my question to you is this, what happens when one person communicates one thing with words and a totally different thing with actions? How do you communicate with someone whose verbal communication speaks a totally different language than his/her actions?

It can be confusing, right?

I have this friend, ok, my non-boyfriend boyfriend, who falls into this category. His verbal communication skills are awesome! I’ve never known a man who can communicate like he does. He is a total people person and loves creating relationships. It’s a skill I truly wish I had. When we go to dinner he makes friends with the waiter/waitress, he chats up the people behind the coffee counters, and even invites strangers to join us for dinner. All super cool qualities to have, that I have never even thought about until I met him. And it’s because of his actions, that he creates these relationships. In fact, we were out to dinner the other night and he made our waitress feel so comfortable that at one point in the meal she actually sat down at our table to chat with us. I love that!

But (come on people, you had to know there was a but coming…no one is ever that perfect) his actions speak a totally different language.

What do I mean by this? Well, I’m not going to spill the detail, but suffice it to say the reason he is my non-boyfriend boyfriend is because we are at two totally different places in our lives. We are headed down two different paths. Well maybe not two different paths, but, let’s just say I am so much further along in my path than he is. But the key is we enjoy spending time together. Unfortunately for me the time we do spend together is often very confusing because he communicates differently verbally than he does with his actions. I often leave his presence very confused and frustrated, but at the same time very excited for the next time when I may see him. And for a processor like me…this is VERY FRUSTRATING!

Bottom line, when communication is good I often feel understood, and emotionally connected which in turn makes me feel confident. But more often than not I am too afraid to do what it takes to create those feelings in any of my relationships, because that would require vulnerability. And vulnerability scares the crap out of me. Because in my mind vulnerability can only mean one thing…hurt.

It’s the one hurdle in my life that I am still trying to overcome…

“The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” -George Bernard Shaw


  1. Hello lovely!
    There is something for you over on my blog!!

  2. You are so right when the communication/words don't match the actions.

    I actually told my ex husband the other day when he was declaring he HAD loved me and tried to show me the best he could...that no...saying "I Love You" every day was not SHOWING someone you loved them. Walking out the door and ignoring them, watching their needs (not wants but NEEDS) go unmet daily, verbally attacking them and neglecting your responsibility to them..that is not "showing" love. Words & actions really need to match in a relationship.

    Sorry that your non boyfriend boyfriend is like that. I TOTALLY understand the whole "non boyfriend boyfriend" thing too. I have one of those in my life!


  3. This is a really great post, and timely too. Tragically, I must say...I am HORRIBLE at true communication. I don't know what my problem is, but I just can't verbalize what I REALLY think, because it paralyzes me with fear. I have all this other great stuff going for me, but this problem of communication will be my downfall I'm sure. You are right, it is incredibly important and essential.

    Good luck with figuring out the non boyfriend boyfriend.

  4. Oh, men can be great at the dating ambiguity thing. Your frustration is understandable.

    Here is a funny post for you: No Boyfriends, No Problems. You might get a kick out of it.


  5. It's a difficult road, the one you're on. It's so easy to fall into a relationship, arms outstretched and trusting... but the vulnerability is what kills me, too. I always keep my guard so far up, I feel as though I can't allow anyone else in. In all things, you have to remember to do what feels right to you, whether it's in the moment or as a long-term thing. I would try to get to the bottom of his behavior though. Has he been hurt, too? Maybe that's why he's sending you mixed signals. Or maybe he doesn't know what you're expecting from a relationship with him and he doesn't realize how his actions are coming across. But it's so great he has such a warm and inviting personality. I can see why there would be an attraction!

  6. It is has been a while since I have read your great posts but this one was providential.

    Being vulnerable is key! I have spent the last almost seven years erecting barriers to protect myself from the hurt I experienced in my marriage and past failed relationships. Honestly, I feel bad for the woman I tried to speak to because they did not get the all of me they deserved (though I fooled myself into believing that I had given it all). Choosing to expose yourself means you are willing to go all out, like Christ. Think about it! He died for us knowing that we'd be ungrateful jerks. That's true love. When God brought me to the point that I would be willing to re-marry my ex-wife (though I pray that will never happen), I was then ready to move forward.

    I am now in a relationship with a beautiful woman and I am more expressive than I have ever been in my life. Honestly, it freaks me out because I am trying close the faucet a little and God is keeping it open.

    On the communication issue: yes, communication is so KEY! However, who defines communication. For so long I was expecting my girlfriend to say "X" and say "Y" and was nervous because I was not hearing what she was saying. However, God showed me that she was saying so much in her actions. With all the programming skills and technological skills I have, I missed the boat completely. Now, I enjoy watching her because I can get my response by her actions. She wants to communicate more openly and verbally, but I am not going to rush her.

    So, try this. His words may so one thing and his actions seem different. But any single person, of the opposite sex, who would be willing to spend time with me when they could be doing God knows whatever; that person is saying a lot. One friendship I had like that I could not convert into a relationship. I had communicated that to her and I am glad I did not try to force something that was not meant to be. Because now, I am on Cloud 9!

    But this is just simple advice from a simple guy! :-)



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