Many years ago, I met with an elderly woman whom I had last seen in Iran 20 years earlier. She is the mother of a friend and we are some how related! She was visiting here in Vancouver, so I invited her for dinner. The first thing she said after coming to that door was: “Oh, how fat you have become!” She said this with a smile of course.
We Iranians know that she did not mean anything bad by this; it was just her style of communication. She meant that she remembered me from 20 years before and that I had “developed” meaning I had changed. She also felt close to me, and wanting my best, felt she had to be clear by telling me in what way I had changed over the years. She had not intended to offend me, nor was I offended, but another might have been. This is why I think our style of communication needs to improve!
We tend to use negative, judgmental words instead of positive, non-judgmental ones, a passive rather than active language.
What do we mean really?
We need to learn more about the first impressions we make!
More to come in the next article…
April 23, 2007