Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blabbermouth, Extraordinare!

I have never met a stranger. Since birth. My mom says I was a big talker from the beginning. Talking for a reason, to make a friend. I made friends everywhere I went, the store, vacations, of course-school, church and really everywhere. I see myself in my children who also do the same. There is no ulterior motive and never has been. This is not to say it went without rewards. People often show generosity to people who exhibit friendliness. So occassionally being rewarded as a child by some doting adult-type simply because I was outgoing probably cemented being a "chatty-cathy"-I am too young to know about these dolls but I was called this frequently so I must have just missed them. (My husband had two very serious relationships with two different Cathy's-not sure if it was c or k, and ended up marrying a "chatty cathy" with a good friend named Kathy who babysits our little darlings-funny huh?)

SO, all of that to say I am positively a motor-mouth. I love to talk. I love when people talk to me. I love to read, I love to write. I love words and spend hours looking at them, saying them, laughing at them.

Today, however, as I spoke up in Sunday school class and said, "Do our church services and traditions please us and our wills or are they pleasing to God and helping to do his will?"(probably alot less clear than that!) during a conversation about the will of God, hubby, who was in class with me today totally died a little inside. He believes in the smile and remain silent principle. Later he told me how mean-spirited that sounded towards our church and what did I even mean? I found this very troubling because I was not being critical of our church specifically, but churches generally(myself included) that get lost in programs and such instead of God's plan as I understand it-of reaching the lost. I spent the rest of church feeling like quite a failure because, clearly, I am not an effective communicator. I don't always come across with what I am trying to say. My friends have learned my personality and my bluntness and know "what I really mean". My husband, not so much. There are other people who I know don't like my company because of that bluntness as well. They don't "get" me. Perhaps this is why I love blogging so much. It is an opportunity to expound upon who I am and what I believe without dominating a conversation(which I try really hard not to do but I KNOW that I do). Even with blogging though, it happens. People read something one way, I didn't mean it that way. It happens with the spoken language as well. It is troubling. I want to be a better communicator. Speak clearly and not be vague or unclear. I don't seek to criticize but I do seek to make things better-push things to the next level-be more intense. It often comes across as just critical. Sometimes, it probably is and might be the heart of a comment if I am honest with myself. I know today that it was not. I think our church earnestly seeks to do God's will.

I try really hard to not only listen to what someone says but also what they mean by it. What is the motive behind it? Do I disagree or agree immediately or do I need to give it some thought? I like for my opinions to be challenged and I like to challenge the opinions of others (Iron sharpening iron). I like to test for soft hearts or concrete ones with no room for change. I like to really "get"(understand) someone if at all possible. I don't automatically love every one I meet, but I still love finding out all I can about them and seeing what makes them tick and marvelling at the way God made us all so completely different. I am fascinated with people. To the core, always have been. I love making a stranger my friend. This is how I share the gospel, the good news. I actually had the nickname preacher for a while in 4th grade because I really want everyone to know about Christ and go to heaven. To me it is like a cure for cancer and I can't keep it to myself. God and Jesus have always been the best thing that ever happened to me. His people have been really good to me my whole life. I very seldom come across that way though, why is that?? I know my heart, why do I come across so different?

It breaks my heart that my hubby was offended by my comment. It breaks my heart that I offend him nearly every day and I am not certain that he seeks to understand me because I offend him too often. I wish he talked more and allowed me more insight into his world and his perception. Nothing frustrates a blabbermouth more than the strong silent type-or passive aggressive as I refer to it. This too shall pass and most assuredly, this too shall come around again!! Some of you that know me best can definitely read into this that I need some feedback. I LOVE criticism in the form of constructive. This usually involves criticism that is truth. I can take it and would probably grow from it. Fire away.

**Have I mentioned I hate word verification??


thruchildeyes said...

Oh dear. I don't know what to tell you. There's the risk of miscommunication in all interaction. I admire your ability to converse with ease - even if it does put you at a greater risk for these problems. I am a terrible communicator and often have the same feeling you have - that what I meant was not properly understood. My reponse to those situations is to withdraw into myself and swear to never speak in public again. Not exactly the best option, but it matches the weakness in my personality. Hum, still not helping you...I guess I want to say I feel for you. I'm sorry it happened, but don't let it stop you from being the talkative gal God made you.

Steph said...

Well, I had to learn to appreciate my blunt husband. I would often judge him wrongly simply because he would say aloud things that I would never say to someone's face- things that I did not agree with him on. I have just realized in the last couple of years that God did create him that way, and God really knew what He was doing when He did so! Chad is an "in your face" kind of guy, and I actually admire it most of the time now. I, like Erik, do occasionally want to sink in the floor when Chad puts someone on the spot, so to speak. That's okay. I don't want him to be just like me. I have learned a lot from Chad when I started trying. I think maybe Erik needs to step back and take a good look at who you are and does he really want you to be any different?! God did make you special! Sounds like Veggie Tales there at the end, doesn't it.

Anonymous said...

I relate. I talk a lot, too. And often what I meant to say is apparently not the way it was interpreted. It bothers me, too. It can ruin my whole day if it was bad enough and if I let it. I have been trying to work on listening more and interrupting less, working my thoughts out more before I say them, and trying to decide if what I want to say really needs to be said. I repeat Eph. 4:29 to myself often.
I've been working on it, but I'm not sure I'm getting very far. :)
I try to remember this, though. If what I said was so I further my education (in a class, for example), or if it was intended with a heart of love (an attempt at a compliment or condolences), or if it was something that really needed to be said and couldn't be ignored (correcting false information for example), then I try not to be too hard on myself if it came across the wrong way, because my motives were pure. I just try to work better on execution for the next time.
Keep your chin up, don't let it get you too down. You aren't the only one who does it. :)

Anonymous said...

I was there and I don't think it was a big deal at all... Gene seemed perfectly comfortable with your question, even though he answered it with his own "spin". I think when you are a very opinionated -and talkative!-person, you have to be very careful with how you say things because people think they "know what you meant" when they really don't, even though that isn't fair. And sometimes the people closest to us make that same mistake because they think they know everything about us as well (this single thing is responsible for almost all of the conflict John and I experience... we think we already know everything the other is thinking!) But don't worry about it. I don't think anyone else thought anything of it.