Written by: Eva Medilek, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
When my youngest daughter was around 6 or 7 years old, she came home from school one day, visibly upset.
The apparent source of her outrage was the elderly crossing guard from her elementary school.
How could a sweet, elderly crossing guard cause such drama in a first-grader?
Seeing her level of anger, justifiable in her young mind, warranted further investigation.
"Why are you so upset, honey? What happened?" I asked. Apparently, this villainous crossing guard was stupid and didn't know what she was doing, which caused my child to 'hate' said crossing guard.
Now, having been a crossing guard myself, at the ripe old age of 13, I knew there was some safety training involved to keep the children safe.
What could this crossing guard have possibly done that was so wrong, to have my sweet 7-year-old so upset? After all, she did arrive home safe, alive, and unhurt.
So, being the determined investigator that I am, I pressed on. "Hate is a strong word honey, what did she do?"
"SHE TOLD ME TO HURRY UP!"
Hmmm, I still didn't see how hurry up could cause such feeling and emotion from a 7-year-old, so I pressed on.
"What was wrong with that?" I asked. Her reply, "She's so stupid. The sign said SLOW CHILDREN, so I was going slow. She told me to hurry up. She doesn't know what she's doing!"
As cute as her misunderstanding of thinking that the sign "slow children" was meant for her to go slow, the unearthed feelings in her are similar to feelings that most of us feel when we feel unheard, unseen, and unsafe.
When expectations aren't met, many people have feelings of anger and disappointment surface, leading to further misunderstandings, anger, and disappointments.
It's important to recognize what we are really feeling and what expectation is not being met, that's contributing to that feeling.
For some folks, all they can feel is anger. But what's really happening is sadness over being disappointed or other feelings lying beneath the surface.
Becoming aware of what we are feeling and why we'll open up the doors for more effective communication, understanding, and of times, compassion.
The next day I was able to walk my daughter to school to see the signage that caused such a great level of misunderstanding that had labeled the crossing guard incompetent, if you will.
I explained to my child that the sign was for the drivers in the cars to go slow because children were present, and then it's the job of the crossing guards to hurry the children across the street so that the people in the cars have a clear path to move forward.
It took some convincing, but she eventually got it. We were able to have a conversation that opened up her understanding.
There are so many lessons in life that we can learn from children. Assumptions, misunderstandings and the hate that they cause is a valuable lesson for today's experiences.
We can all think of times when a simple misunderstanding caused unnecessary drama or hurt feelings in our lives. Some of us may still have unresolved drama because we haven’t moved from accusation to conversation.
In the case of my young daughter and her accusations leveled at the unsuspecting crossing guard, having a conversation about her feelings led to an understanding of her expectations and how a misreading of a sign created an emotional reaction.
A seven-year-old has not yet developed emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, some adults have not as well. How can we take responsibility to open up conversations when accusations abound?
You will be misunderstood. People will misread your intentions. Having a conversation in a way that people can hear your heart is very difficult to do behind the keyboard.
Conversations are the key to deeper connection and understanding in every area of your life. Have the conversations.
Eva Medilek, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Eva Medilek is a Certified High-Performance Coach and a Relationship Success Coach. She has coached both men and women in personal development, leadership, and mastering habits for success. She specializes in helping powerful and successful women have happier, healthier, more intimate connections in their relationships without giving up their power. Eva knows firsthand how a driven personality type can leave you feeling lonely, disappointed, frustrated, and resentful. You can achieve higher levels of success without sacrificing your health, well-being, and relationships. She uses her personal experiences along with her leadership, transformational, and high-performance training to teach you the pillars of high performance as well as showing you how to communicate in a way that fosters intimacy, influence, and connection in your personal and professional life. High performance is succeeding consistently over the long term while maintaining a healthy life full of positive emotions and relationships.