Different Communication Styles
Tonight my mother and I figured out one reason I have avoided having significant conversations with her most recently. As she already knows, I get quite bothered when after my finishing a story she responds with "You know what you should do...." or "You know what you could do..." Prior to tonight, I have blamed my discomfort with these statements on my having had a lot of people make such statements to me in the ministry in which I lead and then give me a laundry list of to-do's for which the person giving the list was far more qualified and networked to act upon. But tonight, I made the realization that the reason it really bugs me, is that I expect her to respond in the feminine manner of recognizing the feelings shared in the story with comments such as "oh, I know how that feels" or "that really has to stink" rather than in the stereotyped masculine manner of solving the problem with "well, you could..." And this I think is the place where our relationship changed when I became an adult. As a child she would comfort me in my sorrow or pain and celebrate with me my joys, but since I became an adult, she responds to my sharing of my personal story with an action plan of her wisdom, when what I am really desiring is the motherly response of love that I had received before. Hmmmm.... A lot to think about.