Learning to Talk

I’ve been reading this book. Actually I keep reading it. I have a few that I do that with sometimes. They are often about regular people overcoming hardship and finding a way to carve out a nice life with a person you love. Not usually as much with the chronic bad communication that I think romance novels love to exploit. 

This particular book is rampant with miscommunication. But not so much because of failure to talk when they should or overhearing the wrong thing as is common. In this book, the main characters base their interactions on their own histories and on some superficial assumptions of what they think they know about each other. 

Because of that, they think they are talking to each other but in truth they might as well not even speak the same language. 

Most of the book is them figuring out how to hear each other without the filter of what they expect to hear. 

I think that’s huge. 

Getting out of your own way so you can actively participate with another person seems like a great way to show you care.  Not just about them, but about yourself, too. 

For me, this is a much better way to use the famous miscommunication tool in your storyline.  Allowing them to feel their way and muddle through trying to learn what the other is saying. Or, perhaps more importantly, how they are hearing what you say. For instance, a person who has self esteem issues will hear a typical witty comment completely differently than someone who has no issues with confidence. 

Normally, that might not be such a big deal (although being more kind in general is a good thing) to you, but if you want to have a chance at a close relationship with them, then it behooves you to try to understand where they’re coming from. 

And, of course, that is hard stuff. I think a lot of people don’t want to have to try so hard at it. Maybe that’s why we look for people who have things in common with. At least that way we know a little bit about where they are coming from. 

But maybe the hard stuff is where we get to draw out the best flavors. 

At least that’s how it works in romance novels, right?

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