craig use to play bass. he’d sit and practice for hours. sometimes i’d have to interrupt him to tell him something and he’d nod or say “ok” or even answer a question. then later on i’d bring it up again and he’d stare at me like he had no idea what i was talking about.
because he didn’t. hadn’t comprehended a single word. if i gave him a lie detector test and asked him if i had already talked to him about it, he say no and pass with flying colors.
for years he thought i was just having a conversation in my head and thinking it had actually happened.
which is not entirely improbable either.
we can’t be the only ones. if fact, i know we’re not. you know we’re not. this has totally happened to everyone at some point. and more often than not, it’s a girl saying it to a guy. or a guy saying it to a guy. oh yeah, i’m getting stereotypical up in here. a friend of mine was talking about this very problem with his girlfriend. he was convinced she really wasn’t telling him anything, she just thought she was. i gave him what i thought was a very generous 60/40 split. 60% – he was told, 40% – she never said anything. frankly, i think 80/20 is more accurate.
to be fair, i am routinely oblivious to thing people say to me. what? i’m a terrible person.
here’s now to avoid the awkward “i told you that” moment.
advice to the tell-er:
1. timing is everything – talking to craig while he played bass…bad idea. talking to someone when they’re doing anything that requires concentration (i.e. working on a car, doing the taxes, playing Words With Friends) is not going to end well. you will both be frustrated. avoid times of distraction and decompression (i.e. during the game, right after work, while showering). brains are otherwise occupied or shut off entirely at times like this. during dinner or other times when you’re fully engaged is best.
2. eye contact – make sure you have the tell-ee’s attention. their FULL attention. yes, i used capital letters on a whole word. it’s that important. don’t be condescending about it, but do let him/her know that you need to know you’re being heard. say what you need to say, John Mayer.
3. get a response – grunts, nods, glassy eyed stares do not qualify as responses. actual words are required. a repeat of what you said, even better.
okay boys and girls, what have we learned? girls say stuff, guys ignore them. i’m kidding. sort of. not really.
though it’s really not intentional. unless it is. but that’s a whole other blog.
tell-ers – cut the tell-ee some slack and be honest with yourself about whether or not the conversation actually took place (it probably did). just be kind and think about how you could’ve communicated better.
tell-ees – own your obliviousness, don’t get defensive and respond positively.
okay, let’s hear your “you didn’t tell me that” stories. you know you’ve got one. comment or die.