You know the whole “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?” thang? Basically I think we’re all from the same planet, but I do agree with the fact that there are many different communication styles. Many women share issues so that others can hear them, empathize, listen and lend an ear, tell them everything they’re doing is perfect and yes, they don’t understand why they’re not getting the results they so deserve. Many men hear issues and think of how to fix them and give solutions. Communication issues galore.
Did you ever ask a question numerous ways to numerous people just because you were looking for “your” answer? Yeah. We all do that. Sometimes we aren’t asking a question. We act like we are – what comes out of our mouth (or fingers as we type online) is a question. But we aren’t asking a question. We often actually know the answer and can predict what others will say. But we are asking…. What we are looking for is something else. We are looking to fill another need.
I’ve led Weight Watcher meetings for over five years. I’ve met hundreds of members. I’ve been asked a lot of questions – not only in the Weight Watchers venue, but in everyday life. I’ve been faced with the choice to answer the question or fill the need. It’s a slow learning process for me to know the difference. Sometimes people just need that reassurance that they’re going to get there. Sometimes they need a kick in the tush. Sometimes they need cold, hard facts. I’m usually pretty good at gauging that need. But even when I don’t, as soon as I hear the response, the “Ding! Ding! Ding!” goes off in my head and therein lies my choice: fill the need, step away, or answer the question.
I’m not a butterflies and unicorns leader. I’m more of the “kick in the tush but the person FEELS like they got stroked by a butterfly and then, only later realizes they might have a bruise on their tush” kind of leader. It’s a style that not everyone responds to. I’m constantly learning how to deal with different people and different scenarios. Life gives you lessons. I try to learn them.
Knowing what you want is key and many of us just want to know we’ll be okay. So am I asking if I have to give up boxed meals at lunch or am I asking if I have to make TOO many changes right away to be successful? Am I asking if it’s okay if I didn’t exercise or am I asking again if I have to do what *she’s* doing in order to lose weight? When I cry or stomp my foot that I didn’t lose more than POINT TWO and ask why since I followed the plan PERFECTLY did I not lose more… am I really asking if it will all eventually come off if I stay with this?
So when I gain 5 pounds because I decided this last week was all about the potato chips and the bacon and it’s a HUGE calorie increase from the norm, does it give me the right to stomp my feet and cry? Yes. Yes it does. It doesn’t give me the right to lose weight – science will tell me that’s not possible – but I’m entitled to all my emotions. And if my husband dares tell me, “well, don’t eat all bacon and chips” it is NOT what I want or need to hear. What I may be doing is stomping my feet and crying because I felt weak and wanted to know that I was stronger before and that it was just a blip in my armor and I can turn things around.
I do this. We all do this. Not just with weight but with life. Will we go to different doctors until we hear the story of what we want? (By the way, I still haven’t found the doctor who can tell me I can live on bacon, chocolate and potato chips with the occasional spinach salad and keep my weight off. I *am*, however still looking for him or her!)
Many of us know the answers to the questions we ask. What we need to ask ourselves is really… what do we want? Because if we want a hug – fine. If we want a kick – fine. If we want to vent – fine. Just know what it is you want because then you’ll know who to ask and what to ask.