I read in a book recently about a couple of things that happened to two married couples. They were situations where the husband had done something nice for the wife but when the wife saw what the husband had done, she focused on something that was done “wrong” or merely differently. All the husband “heard” was that he didn’t do it right and wondered why he even tried to do something nice at all.
Upon reading these scenarios, I could totally see what happened. The first husband had gotten their young daughter ready to leave while the wife was getting ready. Unfortunately he’d chosen one of the child’s “good” outfits and that is what the wife focused on.
I can imagine that when the wife came in she thought how nice his actions would have been if she didn’t have to change their daughter anyway. She could have handled it better by thanking her husband for what he did and finding a nice way to inform him of the use of different outfits. I’m guessing he just put something cute on his daughter instead of thinking about the appropriateness of the outfit for the day’s activities.
A similar thing happened with the other scenario. The wife came into the kitchen after dinner and saw the husband sweeping the floor and most of the kitchen cleaned. She asked why he didn’t clean off the counters; naturally, he felt unappreciated, especially since he hadn’t finished the cleaning of the kitchen.
I’m guessing that the wife sweeps the floor when she is completely finished cleaning but her husband swept before he’d wiped the counters. His way was not wrong. It just wasn’t the way the wife does it. Now, she should have thanked him for cleaning the kitchen before asking why he didn’t clean the counters but still, it was just a communication error. (This book made it into something else entirely.)
These two situations remind me that my way is not the only way to complete a task and that I need to be sure to express my thankfulness for the help I receive. It also reminds me to watch the tone that I use to ask questions. I can think of a couple of different voice tones that can be used to say the exact same words but change how they are received. One sounds like nagging and ungratefulness and the other sounds thankful and curious.
Something Flylady taught me
I’m reminded of something I learned from Flylady: Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family. It doesn’t have to be done perfectly and it doesn’t have to be done the way mom taught me to do it, as long as it still gets done.
I had to release my expectations on different household chores and allow others to do it their way. Michael does not fold towels the same way I do but that doesn’t make his way wrong and mine right. It really isn’t worth getting upset over or having to do it myself.
I hope this encourages you to express your thankfulness more and be sure to lighten the tone when asking why something was done differently than you’d do it.
Until next time, God bless,