It is funny but as I listen to different pod casts I hear about the need to listen, to hear other peoples words. These pod casts talk about the importance of being able to receive words, thoughts and suggestions from others. I think this is a good thing. Being able to do this allows for good conversations, the ability to move forward if there is a disagreement and to learn from someone else’s experiences.

But what that pod cast didn’t talk about is this thing called perspective that goes with the above.

Because WHAT someone says can be entirely different from what someone THINKS they hear or what they FEEL after hearing these words.

Even if the words and the ensuing feels are truly worlds apart.

This is why text messages can be problematic sometimes. I mean how can you be sure that those words you are reading are a joke or are meant to be serious emoji helps but you see what I mean.

Sometimes even the best planned words can be heard or interpreted differently. Elizabeth and I had just this scenario happen on Tuesday. Elizabeth is my daughter with special needs. She has Global Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) These disorders affect her motor planning to do any and all skills. Her organization of steps to do a task and well… actually they they affect her throughout each day all day.

Let me tell you a little story called “I did not mean it that way!”

Elizabeth and I were sitting at the island in our kitchen, she was working on a computer program, one that was on her typing skills. This is one of her goals we talked about prior.

Yet, she was not trying to do any of what was asked on the program, which would improve her skills but instead doing her own version of typing. Her way is fine and gets the job done but she asked to work on typing better and faster.

So, here we are on a program for that good reason.

When I told her to watch the screen and try what they are asking, she cut me off mid sentence.

Continued on typing her old way.

Again, I tried to help her.

Again, I was cut off.

We had 2 more rounds of this….

Then I got frustrated and told her what I felt about being cut off mid sentence and the need for her to try a little bit better on this program. And didn’t she remember it was her goal?

Pretty innocent right?

Except it wasn’t heard that way. As the tears started to roll from Elizabeth’s eyes, I learned she heard it so differently, that her perspective on the whole interaction was so far from what I wanted her to feel.

I was stunned for a moment when she told me her feeling which included me thinking she can’t do this right or well. And that I need to know my frustration makes her nervous.


It is perspective again. I said this and she heard that.

I quickly apologized and hugged her. And told her what I felt and meant. As well as telling her how I understood that new things are hard for her.

We then went right into conversation about what just happened. Which I think was a good thing but I have to say, I am now thinking a great deal about perspective when I share words and feelings. I want to try to have her perspective to match my words and feelings.

I think being aware of this is important. And this was a great reminder that they don’t always match.

I share this because sometimes we can forget, I know I am grateful for the reminder. Wow, wow and wow huh?

I know my journey and learning with Elizabeth continues….

I wish everyone a peaceful week. Please wear a mask. I do for my mom and others who could get really ill.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself.