A Euphemistic Rose by any other name … would smell just as sweet
well, I will let you be the judge. This is how it started, Monkey Magic says it best …
But actually, it was Sunday morning. See Clangers and I have attempted to design the house to maximize fun things and minimize unfun things like … well cleaning. We both work – yeah? Who doesn’t so, it’s hard to explain but we have tried to design each room in the house as a place to hang out, even if there are ‘jobs’ to do.
We were in the kitchen. Since renovating the kitchen, we are in it a lot. It was Sunday morning. The light was streaming, in manner romantic, through the windows facing the vista of the jungle and wildlife sanctuary that is our back yard. For a change, I was not dwelling on the tangle of blackberry bushes or leaf-age needing removing via the green bin that is always full. Probably, there was breakfast mood music playing softly in the background. Clangers, was looking lasciviously at the coffee pot. Possibly it was the coffee pot. I can’t remember who started it but somehow or other,
I said, “So … what’d do you fancy for breakfast?” and then there was a look, you know the one – the one that lingers longer than four seconds. Life is either about to be created or destroyed. Something dangerous rippled in the air.
Sunday has traditionally been an egg affair. It is omelette and ‘things’ for Clangers. So, the question appeared possibly rhetorical or ambiguous in some other difficult to discern way.
Clangers said, “I was thinking, the C-Word?”
‘Ah’, difficult to discern this. Getting the signals wrong is well a bit of a mood killer, but I was on the mission from God, get breakfast. Too busy and important to work out this C-Word business. So, I cut to the chase. Sort it out quickly. Knock it on the head, so to speak.
I said, “What? You were thinking, See You Next Tuesday?”
Clangers said, “Well … I was thinking more like today, like now! If possible!”
I said, “Now. Right now?”
Clangers said, “No time like the present! Right now!”
I said, “So just to make sure we are all on the same page, what C-Word was it you wanted right now?”
Clangers said, “Coffee! Do you want some coffee this morning?”
I am a bit off coffee at the moment. Am busy flushing everything right out. In fact, today we nearly had a blog post on one of the many flushes available to the natural medicine world and the human body But I thought we’d talk about non-verbal communication instead.
I said, “Nah! I’ll just have myself a sober Nettle Tea, good for the kidneys.”
Then it was all on, reviewing the week that was, cracking eggs, chopping things, not fingers – which can disrupt the calm. I was wopping on about non-verbal communication. I should treat this subject way more specifically, more reverently. The truth of it is … Non-Verbal communication is most of communication.
Depending on the study, non-verbal communication ranges between 60% and 90% of the message. Weird huh! People don’t really listen to what you say, but are cued right in to how you say it. Emotion. Instinct. You cannot do with out it, or understand yourself with out understanding your own emotions and how they work.
There is so much to say about understanding emotions. This particular morning Clangers and I, thanks to me bringing it – were discussing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Some people love it, Melbourne seems to love it. It is helpful up to a point. It is a way of understanding your personality, or the operating system through which ‘you’ perceive and interact with the world.
In particular, we were discussing a gnarly dichotomy that exists within the MBTI in terms of personality options, and also exits between myself and Clangers. I have taken the description of this straight from the horse’s mouth, the MBTI website.
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Clangers and I have different ‘Structures’ in our personality, or the way we deal with the outside world. Clangers is a J – stands for Judging where as I am a P – stands for Perceiving. This difference causes enormous communication breakdowns and conflicts between couples because each person is fundamentally different in the way they deal with the outside world. It is like trying to have a debate, when you have to keep arguing and defining what it is you are actually debating. It is difficult when a couple differ in their preferred way of dealing with the outside world because what they prioritize, the way they communicate and the way they feel about the situation will all be very very very different.
I was wopping on about this, thinking I was adding to a smoothly flowing and integrated conversation in our sunlight filled kitchen on a Sunday morning that was frankly going well. Clangers has, over the years – learned to be a bit of a swinger – he can talk “P” a bit, and even and arguable more importantly listen like a “P” without leaping in there and trying to categorize and fix everything – to make himself feel better. Nothing to do with me, the ‘P’.
I was busy reviewing findings on non-verbal communication and gender. Yes I would have been right at home at a 20-someting gathering of post grads who have yet to encounter life. I was giving it my best findings, such as this one …
Did you know?
Women and Men differ in their ability to accurately decode the non-verbal component of a communication or message. Generally speaking women are more accurate at decoding non-verbal communication across a range of people and settings.
Happy Husbands and Unhappy Husbands are the Same and Different in terms of their ability to accurately decode the non-verbal communication of women. It just depends on which women.
Happy Husbands and Unhappy Husbands are both equally challenged at accurately decoding the non-verbal part of a message. They get it wildly wrong – on average.
But they are different, in that Happy Husbands have learned to accurately decode their wife or partner’s non-verbal communication. Why? What is the difference?
This finding never made any sense to me, men have emotions and instincts – they have a body after all and emotion/instinct is the way the body communicates to the brain about what is needed, it is the body’s dashboard and score-board. Something is wrong here. Seems like men exist in a state of well disconnection. Did you like my attempt at gender relevant metaphors?
Moving on …
Why are men universally flawed when it comes to decoding, accurately, body language of women? It seems that dangerous men are better at it over short periods of time. Interestingly, “Bad Boys” are appealing to younger women.
I have found over and over in life and in work, if you do not listen to the life of your own instinct, your own body, your own emotions – many desirable states of being will elude you including happiness, connection, physical and psychological health. You will miss vital information about what is happening around you. It will be difficult to form successful sexual relationships, I would say relationships of any kind – with yourself, with friends, children, family and partners. It will be difficult for you to adapt to what life is throwing at you. Not ideal.
So this is more or less what was discussed, over Sunday morning breakfast. More Brunch, always disliked that word. Just like what it describes, never seems to fit any mood or situation. So Clangers had been doing his best ‘P’ work, he’d been leaning in to the discomfort, for a ‘J’, or a meandering conversation about ‘nothing’, as far as he could see, that would never ‘get to the point’. OR as I believe, “dissociate” or return to a state of numbness required when the body is so traumatized it cannot process emotion or information – at all. And has to just freeze.
Well Clangers, unfroze, comes up for air – then pipes up this priceless gem …
“Oh!”, non-verbal expression of realization was observed to sweep across Clanger’s facial features. Eyes closed briefly, face muscle relaxed and then picked up renewed tension using slightly less energy to hold themselves, than previous.
“I just got what you meant by …
C U N ext T uesday!