Are you wishing to Vent or Asking for Advice?

Are you wishing to Vent or Asking for Advice?

I read once that men often struggle when their wives tell them about something that is upsetting her, be it at her work place, church, with a friend or with a family member.

Men are by nature "fixers". They take on the role of protector. You know like the old story of the Daddy that goes to the school to confront the bully picking on his child. (*Hopefully we have all learned this is not the solution, but its just an example)

My Husband and I have become good at communicating to one another.  He knows when I am looking for advice or just need that bob of the head and the "I understand" look. Although I do often see in his eyes pain when I am venting and my hurt hurts him. He know when I am asking for advice or just venting. But this is after nearly 39 years of being in our relationship.

Miscommunication is the leading issue in most every situation that causes the failure of friendships, marriages and even work relationships. It has been the number one cause of family division and upset as well. Being misunderstood hurts, especially when you truly mean no harm.

I often feel misunderstood. Perhaps my way of communicating comes across to harsh to the recipient. Maybe I use the wrong tone with my words. Now we have texting, another way a person can  misunderstand. 

But another way to cause miscommunication might be from the how we start the conversation.

If I am venting, which I am a queen at, I am just wishing for someone to hear my words and bob their head that yes, they get me, they understand. 

In this situation, they do not need to agree with me, I am fine if you don't actually. 

I just am wanting to be understood.

But then there are times when we converse with someone because we are asking for their wisdom. What would they do in this situation? How would they handle it? Am I being unreasonable? Am I doing it wrong? Do you know of any resources that would help me in this situation?

If we do not communicate what we are after, we might get advice we didn't want, and it might cause anger or frustration, or worse, hurt feelings.

If we were just wanting to vent to get it off our chest, not looking for advice, but just to relieve the pressure weighing us down in the situation, advice might make us feel worse. The person who misunderstood that the other was just venting is now being rejected and thought poorly of without understanding what just happened, why is this person acting mad or ignoring me now.

Communication is the most important thing in every relationship. Work, Church Family, Family-Family, Friendships.  If we do not understand or know each other well enough, miscommunication can ruin really great relationships.

My advice in this situation, prior to your conversation, perhaps you can say, "hey, can I vent for a moment?" this should signal the recipeint that you are not looking for opinion or advice, just a listening ear and a understanding bob of the head or smile.

If you are looking for advice, perhaps start your conversation with, "Can I run something by you?" or end your conversations with "What would you do?" or "What do you thing?"

It really is just that simple, to prevent hurt feelings and misunderstandings often.

Thanks for listening, I was just venting.

Be Blessed,

The Happy Farmwife 


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