I’m guilty of this. I’m sure everybody has been at some point. This morning, I was trying to explain to my dad an epiphany I had reached in therapy. I felt proud of myself that I had come to this understanding. However, he didn’t react the way that I had wanted. He didn’t see what I had wanted him to see, and instead pointed out my faults. He was really only parroting back to me what I had said to him (more or less) but I lashed out. I was offended, and was trying to protect my poor ego.
You see, there’s a difference in acknowledging something and then having someone else say it. Somehow, when the words are in someone else’s mouth it sounds like an attack. They usually phrase it different as well, they leave out the softening words that we often use. Like using the word “sometimes” instead of “always”. Or someone who’s an alcoholic saying that they “enjoy a drink or two”. Other people, are able to state things in more harsh tones. They call it as they see it.
I feel bad that I shut him out like that. I feel mad at myself for acting so childish. But somehow I can’t make myself act any different. Try as I might, I’m an ass.
I guess it’s because he’s someone that I look up to. You always want the people you admire to have good opinions of your character. When these people call you out, it hurts more than it would if it were some random stranger. I want him to understand me, I want him to listen.
Communication is just so complicated. We all say things that we don’t mean. We all don’t think before we speak. A lot of times we dismiss the thoughts of others, because we think that our thoughts are better. When we “communicate”, we really aren’t open to others. Maybe we should make special “communication” rooms, where people genuinely try to understand and listen to each other. A “safe zone” of some sort. God knows, it might help.
For now, I’ll try to put my ego through boot camp so I don’t have to protect him all the time.