It’s late. Just finished the next episode of a program I got addicted to, Scandal, about which I now feel very mixed. The characters started out wearing white hats, and they are all turning out to have done major sins that are starting to out-weigh their virtues and attractiveness. The show is now getting to be more of a display of cleverness rather than heroic virtue. It’s still captivating.
At the end of the show my dog, Awesome, fell asleep and started to do something that made me wonder when Advertising and big Pharma are going to get together and put on late night TV commercials asking:
“Does your dog’s snoring keep you awake at night? If so, give him K-nine Kno-snore. Not recommended if your dog suffers from thirst, seizures, flea bites, leg humping, allergies, hunger, liking to be scratched, or low testosterone. Caution: Side effects of Kno-snore may include, but are not limited to: heart attacks, strokes, hair loss, hives, gout, puffy lips and dry skin.”
A suggestion about your significant other: Find out what makes her/him tick. The pattern is ask a question, pay attention to her response, and then give something back to her about how you feel about the question. The key part is to pay attention to not only what she responds with, to but also HOW she responds e.g.:
Is her response quick – like it is something viscerally close to her feelings, or is it a slow response like it’s getting thought out? Did her energy level pick up or was is a flat response? Did her eyes open wider or remain the same? Did she animate more – like using her hands to express herself? Did her breathing pick up or remain level? Do her eyes and face seem happy, or agitated, or unengaged?
Pay special attention to what animates her and gets her juices flowing – those are the things that are close to her and make her happy. Notice what they are.
Also, by paying attention to her tone, pacing, breathing, energy, you can sense when she is making a decision. I remember setting up a time to do explore a possible business opportunity with some other people. I got the date of my free day reversed and she couldn’t reschedule to join me on the changed day. Since I no longer had another person going with me, I reviewed my priorities, and thought I could better spend the time finishing another activity before starting a new endeavor.
When she and I talked on the phone a day later, she asked if I had gone to talk to these people. I told her I hadn’t, and I could tell by her voice that she was disappointed that I hadn’t done it. A red flag went up as I “heard” her making a judgement of some type about it. I usually don’t feel the need to justify myself, so I let it go by. In retrospect, I should have focused my attention on the flag and asked her why she sounded disappointed and taken the opportunity (never let a crisis go to waste) to discuss it and explain the circumstances to her. You’ve got to try something to find out if it works.
Another suggestion: If there is something that is important to you that you want to ask her/him about, but you feel awkward cause you don’t normally talk about the subject, or don’t know how to ask it, don’t delay until you figure out a best way to do it – it’s better to just go ahead and ask her. It may be ill-formed, and not in the way Shakespeare might have asked it, but go ahead and ask. You will be able to replay it later in your mind and figure out how the Bard would have said it, but if you don’t ask, the moment will have passed, and you didn’t get your idea or need out there. Not throwing it into the conversation will end up making a much more awkward situation. It will set off her female antenna and she won’t know what it is she’s picking up. It’s a lot easier, and safer, simply asking it.
Regarding asking, I read today that the word courage, derived from the French word for heart “coeur”, had an original meaning of “speaking one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” The writer, Brené Brown, continues: “Asking for what you need is one of the bravest things that you’ll ever do”. What is in one’s heart can be a statement or it can be a question. Stating what’s in one’s heart does take courage. That’s something I want, and need, to consciously practice. We should all work on building that muscle.
Have you ever wondered why some things that seem so right, that fit so well in so many ways, that really “should be” – fail to thrive and survive,
and other things that are odd fits, that struggle, that appear “on borrowed time” – can’t seem to be killed regardless?
God, I am a wealthy man (thank you) but I am not a rich man.
Please send me a woman who is either too rich, or too poor,
to care. Or just a woman, neither rich nor poor, who simply doesn’t care…
(and help me surprise her about the rich part).
Thank you for listening.