You’ve survived Thanksgiving and now we’re heading into the home stretch of the holiday season. The kids will be around again only for a short time. It’s an emotional, stressful time for just about everybody. And there are probably enough different agendas that combined would sink a ship. Everything from you wanting to spend as much time as possible together  to them wanting to spend as much time as possible sleeping and whatever’s left to be spent with friends. With such conflicting desires, keeping communication lines open and friendly can be a challenge.

There are of course the usual words of wisdom about communicating with your young adult children:

  • Resist the probing questions and just go with a simple: “I’m so glad you’re here! I missed you.”
  • Do not dispense advice, unless specifically asked.
  • Keep “I” out of the conversation and in a sealed container.
  • Speak to them as equals.
  • There is no “tug”. There is no “war”. It is their life. Let the rope go.

But recently this passed through one social media stream or another and I thought these were also wise words and definitely share-worthy. This is from Seth Godin, an author, entrepreneur and marketer.

The other person is always right

Always right about feelings.

About the day he just experienced.

About the fears (appropriate and ill-founded) in his life.

About the narrative going on, unspoken, in his head.

About what he likes and what he dislikes.

You’ll need to travel to this place of ‘right’ before you have any chance at all of actual communication.

I think these words would do well taken to heart and taken well beyond just the family.  Know this and I’ll bet your little corner of the world will get just a little bit brighter.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 Image Credit: Dan Mason

Sculpture: Les chuchoteuses by Rose-Aimée  Belanger  (The Gossipers)  

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