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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 868: Why Won't You Just Do What I Want!?!

We are not all that patient, not with ourselves or the beings around us. We easily become frustrated, irritated and even angry when things don't move the way we want them to. Obviously taking our frustrations out on those around us is not an effective way of getting things done faster - it's actually more likely to make things move slower.

We do not readily pause to consider what it is we expect from the beings around us. We often impose our personal experiences, expectations and comparisons on others without fully considering whether they are capable of living up to our expectations. The reality is that everyone is different, and without the ability to read minds there is no way you can know what someone else is going through. It may be your intention to help, but if you expect everyone and everything around you to immediately understand and agree with you then you will be sorely disappointed.

The step we often miss is finding out exactly where another being is at - not everyone communicates on the same "level" - some people will understand a certain vocabulary better than others, other people may learn and understand more effectively with visual aides. There really is no "one size fits all" with communication - and here I am including people and animals. Animals are often the most misunderstood and the most abused at the hands of our ineffectual communication skills.

Animals do not have the capacity to speak as we do - they can't tell us "it hurts when I do this" or "what the hell are you going on about, I have no idea what you want from me". The more familiar you are with animal body language the more you are able to see what they're trying to communicate, but there really are very few people who really take the time to listen to what animals have to say. They are often called the animal "whisperers" - but all they have done is taken the time to ask questions and be open to receiving any answer.

So, if you find yourself bubbling in a silent rage when people/things aren't doing what you want them to, pause for a moment, take a few deep, slow breaths and evaluate your situation. Look at what you are dealing with: have you been communicating clearly? Have you tried different approaches? Have you asked questions? Have you answered any questions fully? Have you been calm and stable within yourself (often if you are reacting you impede on others' ability to process information and act effectively)? Is what you are asking considering the entirety of the people/things you are dealing with? Is what you are asking reasonable? Is what you are asking possible? Are the people / things actually able to do what you are asking them? Do they understand you?

If the people/things you are working with don't understand what exactly it is you want then you cannot blame them for not doing it the way you wanted. It is always your responsibility to make sure that your communication has been clear and effective - meaning that everyone understands you 100%.

When you are working with people, you can check if your communication was effective by asking them to repeat back to you and possibly show you what it is they understood you were asking them to do. Animals can be a little tricky, but generally you will know if they understand you simply by their response (behaviour) to your asking. The interesting thing about animals is that they are almost always willing to forgive humans and try their best, no matter what has been done to them. It's up to us to honour their willingness by communicating in a fair and effective way. It's also up to us to do our best to support animals to heal from the cruelty humanity shows them.

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