Thursday, February 17, 2011

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

I recently came across a guide for men to help them understand the difference between what women say and what women mean.

For example, when a woman says, “I’ll be ready in FIVE MINUTES”, she really means, “I’ll be ready in about a half an hour.” It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it's an even trade.

When a woman says FINE: She is using the universal word all women say to end an argument when they feel they are right and you need to shut up. Never use "fine" to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of "those" arguments. If she says NOTHING: This really means "something" and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and will end with the word "Fine". And, finally if all you hear is a LOUD SIGH: you should recognize this as a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here arguing with you over "Nothing".

I think most people, myself included, at least occasionally avoid saying what they are really thinking or feeling. That can be a good thing. For example, if a friend asks me if I like her new outfit, and I really don’t, I would probably keep my feelings to myself to avoid hurting her feelings. Sometimes I’ll keep my feelings to myself to avoid an unnecessary conflict or confrontation.

While there may be some occasions where it’s best to keep our true feelings to ourselves, this can also be a dangerous habit to get in to. When we do not openly communicate we build a wall between ourselves and others, each unexpressed feeling becomes another brick in this barrier.

In Matthew, Jesus spoke about the need for honest, direct communication when he instructed about the importance of keeping oaths. He said, Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Once again, we are reminded that our words have power and that they should match what is in our heart. Take time today to pray that God will give you the wisdom to use words carefully and the integrity to say what you mean and mean what you say.

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