Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Learning to Really Talk to Each Other

The old adage "Every cloud has a silver lining" now has new meaning for me. I left our graduation-weekend-gone-wrong guardedly optimistic, but feeling rather sad about the state of our seemingly dysfunctional family. However, several painfully honest e-mail exchanges and phone conversations initiated by my son have ushered in a whole new way of communicating that will hopefully prevent a repeat of the weekend’s problems.

One thing that has emerged is my son’s disdain for those "nothing" phone conversations that include questions like:

– How’s the weather there?
– How’s your job?
– How’s your search for a new apartment?
– How’s school?

I find this so interesting because my father, my son’s grandfather, absolutely hated to talk on the phone. After about 3 monosyllabic responses, he would say "I’ll turn you over to your mother." Maybe I just never tried to talk to him about anything of substance.

I have the same disinterest in talking to my husband’s family on the phone, where they for their entire lifetime have discussed the weather and everyone’s state of health ad nauseum.

So I couldn’t be happier about setting the banalities aside and starting a new adult dialog with my now adult son on topics of real interest. Last night he introduced me to the concept of EQ, which will definitely feed a future post.

I love this new way of communicating with someone who continues to be one of the most important people in my life. He and I made a pact that we will never let our family fall into that path of silence that occurs when communication breaks down.


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