Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What did you mean by that?

It made me think of the old game called (telephone).  One kid whispered something to the friend on the right who in turn repeated what he or she heard to another friend to their right.  This went on until all 8 or 9 kids heard and repeated what they thought the phrase was.

When the game was over, the last kid in the game told the group what they heard.  At this point, the kid who started it shared with the group what he or she originally said.  Then all the kids would start laughing because in the course of the game, what was said and what was heard was never the same thing.

While having dinner with a friend the other night, he told me that he thinks his girlfriend wants to dump him.  He gave me this example as to why he feels this way.  He said, “She has moved the TV out of the bedroom and into another room.”

Anyone who knows my friend knows HE LOVES HIS NIGHTLY TV.  He took this as a sign that she wants him gone.  I then put in my two cents; as all my friends know, I LOVE TO ADD MY TWO CENTS. 

I simply said, “Maybe she just wants more of your attention.”

He gave this some thought and over his pasta dinner tilted his head to the right and said, “I never thought about it that way.”

I wonder how often what we hear from friends, family and co-workers is what they mean to say.  I also wonder how many times we don’t simply say, “What did you mean by that?”  Perhaps if we did, we wouldn’t be playing the game of ‘telephone’, and there wouldn’t be so many misunderstandings.