It is apparent to me, we dont see ourselves the way other people do. Our choices, our attitudes, and our behaviors all look differently when we play them out in our own heads.
This weekend, Micah requested a room transformation. After some thought, my wife and I agreed, deciding this would be a good time to purge and clean, given the start of his college adventure in a few short months. As he dug through tons of mini-time-capsule treasures, he found a note he had typed on an old typewriter: speacial ticket to the micah show. Smiling, he looked at us and emphatically stated, I was one interesting kid! Our response was instant. You have no idea.
Luckily, I have had a front row seat to The Micah Show for the past eighteen years and have seen every scene from this adventurous narrative. Of course, when I recount specific incidents about past behaviors to Micah, he usually smiles and looks a bit perplexed. I know it is because Micah has never seen himself the way others see him. I find this to be the case with most people. Ever seen yourself on video or heard your voice on a recording? Is that really what I look/sound like?
This lesson is two-fold. One: Be open to feedback. We can learn a lot about our own behaviors if we spend time listening to the perspective of others. nough said on that one. Two: Be patient when giving feedback to others. Timing is everything and if we give our opinion at the wrong time, individuals will often get defensive. However, when we drop little pieces of information at neutral times, we stand a better chance for the information to make it through.
Micahs room is now dark red. Did I mention that was his choice? I was hoping for a nice soothing butter or mint color. I did my best to persuade, but to no avail. This could have easily turned into yet another power struggle, until my wife pointed out to me, the obvious: It is only paint. And thus, the crisis was averted and The Micah Story continues.