Friday, August 10, 2007

What we actually mean

I know you will agree with me that sometimes, what people say and what they actually mean are two different things. We all have definitely experienced it. Most times, in situations like this, I let it 'go in one ear and out the other'. But at other times, when it is important or better to actually say what they mean, even if it may not be something they think I like to hear, I would prefer they speak their mind. Why waste each other's time beating around the bush, giving excuses, playing guessing games, or keeping silent?

Is it a culture thing especially among Asians or is it a human nature thing? I know I've been guilty of this myself. Here are some examples of my experiences, some which I have been guilty of, from my corporate days and also encounters with acquaintances and friends.

What is said - what is meant

I will get back to you on this/Let me think about it - I will take my time, I'm not interested, Don't ask me again

I don't have the time/I'm too busy - No, I don't want to listen/attend/meet you

Let's have lunch one day - You're not important enough for me to commit a date

Silence/Changing the subject/Pretending not to have heard - I'm not interested/I don't want to talk about it/I don't believe you

I'll let you know if and when I.... - I actually won't bother to....

Please email it to me first - I'll read the email when I feel like it

Anything is fine with me - I don't want to decide but I actually have a preference (isn't this frustrating because when you take it upon yourself to decide, the decision is met with negative comments, complaints, and worse still if it's done behind your back?)

It has happened so often that we simply do not hold people by their word anymore as it is tiring and disappointing at times. And when we do not say what we actually mean, is it really because we don't want to hurt the other person's feelings by denying them their request or responding negatively? Or is it that we self-centered beings simply want to look good and appear pleasant? I believe we can still appear pleasant by saying unpleasant things tactfully and courteously. I would respect that person more for saying what he means and helping me understand why he thinks that way.

Situations like these, I have discovered, have allowed me to learn the degree of open communication, trust, and closeness I have, or that the person has set, in my relationship with him or her. It's good because then I know who I can talk to openly and put my trust in.

Talking about this brings to mind an old song which puzzles me. Would you reciprocate this guy's love when he can't even utter the three simple words? Maybe I'm looking to deep into it-lah, instead of just letting it be a nice lovey dovey song! :D

Words Don't Come Easy
by F.R. David

Words, don't come easy, to me,
how can I find a way,
to make you see,
I love you
words don't come easy

Words, don't come easy, to me,
this is the only way,
for me to say
I love you
words don't come easy

Well I'm just a music man,
melody's so far my best friend
but my words are calling out longer
I reveal my heart to you and
hope that you'll believe it's true, 'cause

Words, don't come easy to me,
how can I find a way,
to make you see,
I love you
words don't come easy

This is just a simple song,
that I've made for you on my own,
there's no hidden needing, you know that I
when I say I love you honey,
please believe I really do, 'cause

Words, don't come easy to me,
how can I find a way,
to make you see,
I love you
words don't come easy

It isn't easy,
words don't come easy....

Words, don't come easy, to me,
how can I find a way,
to make you see,
I love you
words don't come easy

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