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Go To Bed, Dad

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Go To Bed, Dad. 

It’s Tuesday night. 

I’ve just come downstairs and entered the living room; Jane, Annie, and a beloved young friend, Calliope, are sitting there. 

I’ve known Calliope since she was born 21 years ago in Los Angeles.  She’s in town to see Noah Kahan, a musician she and Annie enjoy.

Consequently, last night, 54 year-old-me drove to the venue, ssng-along as best as I could, and then made it through the 1.5 hour nightmare of traffic getting out of the parking lot.  

We got home around 1 AM.

I’m tired.

 

I’ve just come down to say my goodnights.

 

Annie snarks, dismissively, “Go to bed, Dad.”

I counter, shamingly, “That’s mean.”

Then, a realization: she didn’t snark. She said.

She said, “Go to bed, Dad.”

Snark was how I heard it. And, miraculously, having caught myself, I say, “Annie, I should have said, ‘Those words run counter to my need to feel important and wanted.’”

 

 

D/O_J
Discernment/Observation_Judgment

 

Before we judge anything, we must notice it. 

Discernment (hearing, tasting, seeing, feeling, touching) precedes evaluation.

Victor Frankl wrote: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. And in that space is our power to choose our response.”

 

We have that power. To choose our response.

Is it easily done—to act after choosing? No. Much of the time we are living, we act with little space between what we notice and our response.

But we can learn to increase that space.

If we want.

We can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION ACRONYM

 

OFNR–observe, feel, need, respond—helps me voice displeasures, minimizing upset.

 

O        

I state what I observed 

– “I heard you say ‘Go to bed, Dad.’

 

F

I state my feelings.                

– “I felt dismissed.”

 

N       

I state my need.

– “I like to feel connection.”

 

R

I respond.

– “I’m sorry for telling you you were mean; I’m going to bed.”

 

This is not so easy to do in real time. And that’s why I’m writing about my success in having done so with Annie just last week. (I’m bragging a bit.)

I hope this inspires you to add some space between what you notice and how you react.

 

 

 

 

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