A Story

Two people sit down at a checkered board. One thinks they are playing chess; the other thinks they are playing checkers (they haven't gotten out any pieces). They decide to talk about strategy for a minute:

A: What move do you usually open with?

B: I usually move a piece from here to here.

A: What? You can't move it diagonally! 

B: What do you mean? Of course, I can. There's no other way to move EXCEPT diagonally! 

A: No, you have to move it straight, and I know you know how to play. You must be purposely trying to upset me.

B: Honestly, I'm not. The way you're talking about moving doesn't make sense. Can you explain why you're so upset?

A: If you don't get it, I can't possibly explain it to you.

Person A and Person B both go back to their respective friends who all agree with them that they are being completely reasonable and the other person is being unreasonable.

C: Ummm...You know that you're talking about different games don't you?

I feel like this is how some of my conversations have been going lately.

Once we realize we're "playing a different game," we have some choices. One of us could learn to play the other's game, we could play a different game entirely, or we could give up trying to play together. (And a big thank you to my real life person C.)

Okay! Another thought!

You know how the Golden Rule requires us to treat others like we would want to be treated? Sometimes people don't all want to be treated in the same way (e.g., the difference between introverts and extroverts). We imagine that there's a universal ideal way to be treated, and on some level that might be true, but in the moment, when the question of how we want someone to treat us at a particular moment comes up, the answer might not be the same for everyone. So, just because you don't like the way someone is talking to you, don't assume that she's not talking to you how she would want to be talked to. Conversely, just because you're talking the way you'd want to be talked to, don't imagine that the person you're talking to likes it. I don't know if it would be better to try to treat people the way they want to be treated rather than the way we would want to be treated. Although, maybe that was the point all along: we want others to treat us the way we want to be treated so we should treat others the way they want to be treated.

One final thing: Yes, I know I missed the past couple of weeks. Sorry. I thought I had more pre-done, scheduled posts than I actually did, apparently. But we had a good run there, didn't we? Next week we'll be back to your regularly scheduled baby/writing posts.