Friday, January 24, 2014

Quit acting like a baby!

Today has been a long day. Max is only 1 year old so it can sometimes be challenging to know exactly what he needs at any given point. Through the last 12 months of my life, I have become an expert at interpreting cries and whines and even body language. Max has learned a few words but they aren't the more useful words like Tired, Pain, Needy, or Hungry. (although he does have a version of hungry I can translate) Today I was having an especially hard time figuring out what was making my little guy so upset and I started to think about why marriages, friendships, and even family relationships go badly. By the way, in case you were curious...Max just wanted mommy to cuddle him and give kisses and snuggles (I know, precious)

You always hear it said in magazines like Cosmo and self-help books that communication is key and I think we all roll our eyes a little bit but here is what I'm here to tell you, it is! I usually think that they are harping on talking period and maybe even expressing some feelings but I think my point hits a little closer to the nursery. Max is a baby and babies communicate using everything but language. It is incredibly frustrating at first and you learn to just go down the list of possibilities; diaper dirty? hungry? tired? hot? cold? or the many other number of things it could be. As the months go on, you learn which cries mean what and you also realize what time it might be or even the possibility that the baby is sick. My argument is that if we would all stop acting like babies...we might have successful relationships.

There is no possible way for someone to give you an apology(for example) if all you do is give them the cold shoulder or silent treatment. The only way to get a much needed apology is to say "You hurt me" Yes it is primitive but extremely powerful. Have you ever hurt someone's feelings and it took them more than a few months to say so and usually they said it while yelling at you or having a disagreement about something else? I have! It's painful because you just wish they would have said something so that you could have done your best to make it up to them. We all communicate isn't important to start communication. Even Max, with his very limited language skills...communicates with me. He communicates through crying, whining, laughing, smiling, and rubbing his sweet little eyes when he is tired.

If you are in a relationship right now with someone and it's damaged, you are communicating. Maybe you are ignoring them, deleted them from your facebook (gasp!), clearing their calls, answering in one word sentences, avoiding them entirely, snipping back at them every time they talk to you, etc... You are communicating. Unfortunately, you are just communicating like a baby!

Adult communication is so important in relationships. It is important to "Say what you need to say" (John Mayer) To communicate as an adult, you must speak words and they need to include feeling words. Here is an example and I realize it is not always easy to do this but totally necessary:

Martha is hurt because her friend Tina decided to go to a movie instead of attend her birthday party. It is a very important birthday party for Martha because she is in remission after going through a life threatening bout of breast cancer. This birthday is more valuable than any birthday Martha has ever had. Tina RSVP'd that she would be there and then an hour before the party called to say she has been asked on a date to a movie and would not be able to make it.

This is a good situation where someone may just stop talking to another person and therefore get no resolution. If, indeed, Martha wants to continue a relationship with Tina, she has to communicate. Here are a few guidelines of things to remember when communicating like an adult:

  • Sometimes three words are a great start( "I am hurt." ): This can be the jumping off point to just get the feelings out into the air. They are the hardest ones to come up with. After this, there is no doubt that a conversation will be started. If you can begin with "I am (enter feeling) " you are at least beginning the communication cycle. 
  • Allow your needs to be met: If you need an apology, make sure you are ready to accept one. If you need something to be corrected, allow the person to correct it. If you need to be heard, be appreciative to them for listening and help them hear you better by having them repeat what they think you said.
  • Take the time that you need: If you feel that you will be acting like a baby (ex: throwing a tantrum) let the other person know that you need time to process before trying to communicate. This saves a lot of heartache in the long run.
  • Resolve: Make sure that you hold on to adult behaviors until the situation is resolved. None of the other tactics (throwing tantrums, throwing items, ignoring, slamming doors, breaking things, etc...) are at all affective. The only thing you can do that will either heal or resolve a situation is to communicate like an adult.
In Martha's situation she may have started with the simple " I am hurt" or maybe a few of the following:

"I feel unimportant"
"I feel dismissed."
"I feel that you chose a date over me"
"I feel like my life doesn't matter to you."
"I feel like our friendship is not reciprocal"

Maybe Tina was incredibly selfish and dismissive but maybe she didn't see it that way and did not feel that the birthday party was a big deal given that she sat in on every chemotherapy appointment and did not go on a date for the almost year that Martha was fighting the cancer. Maybe there is a misunderstanding...but one thing is for sure; there is no resolution with adult communication!
Stop being a baby!!!

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


Some believers in Christ honestly believe that that truth is so offensive that Christians should only proclaim that God is love. Example: Only preach and teach that God loves everyone. Simply repeat John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)

The problem is even John 3:16 offends many people.

Those who reject God's truth find part or all of it offensive.


1. Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.(NKJV)

Mark 16:16 offends those who believe that water baptism is not essential for salvation.

2. John 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.(NKJV)

John 16:23 offends those who want to pray to the Virgin Mary and other dead saints.

3. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.(NKJV)

Titus 2:11 offends those who believe God's grace is only offered to a predetermined select few.

4. Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame. (NKJV)

Hebrews 6:4-6 offend those who believe in once in grace always in grace.


1. Faith: John 3:16
2. Confession: Romans 10:9
3. Repentance: Acts 3:19
4. Water Baptism: Acts 2:38

The terms for pardon offend those who reject the terms.