From the desk of Teresa Jordan – I think most people understand that my husband is retired and, since he has the time, is the chief cook in our household. It has come to my attention over the years that one small issue [that I will never complain to him about] is that he does not prepare food that he does not like for me even if I like it a lot. I am not even sure if this a conscious decision; I just know that over time I have learned to not purchase certain food items.
One to the prominent examples of this is spiced Gouda cheese with caraway seeds. In my childhood, this was called cheese, as it was the only kind of cheese that we had regularly for our sandwiches. My husband thinks our family ‘cheese’ is revolting and, as the person who makes almost all of my lunches and snacks, that block of Gouda would mould to something unrecognizable, so I no longer buy it.
How often do we unconsciously do this this type of thing to others? We know what we like and what we are comfortable with, so we are somewhat set to autopilot regarding the golden rule and how we treat others. However, if I am someone who needs to talk through my problems and you are someone who needs quiet contemplation when the going gets rough, we might have to make a cheese sandwich we do not particularly want to eat in order to problem-solve together.
We sometimes must think about the other person – what they need, how they communicate and with what approach they are comfortable. It is hard to step out of our comfort zone, try to meet the person where they are at and face those caraway seeds. And while this is a lot of work, especially in a crisis, it is critical to making most of the relationship – to get to where we need to be in the project, endeavour, or solution. It’s hard work because a lot of people process communicate in a vastly different way that you do, but its worth figuring out how best to make the sandwich.
Photo by Cup of Couple on Pexels.com