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Love is where the bananas are... or in the shower!

... and other things taken out of context. Those were the words on the little pink notebook that I kept together with two dear friends of mine. That was many years ago now but the book still exists. Talking about things was something we really loved - and still do - and once in a while it would occur to us that what we had just said would probably sound quite confusing and bizarre if someone else heard it. When this happened, and after we finished laughing, the quote would often end up in the little pink book.

One time I was at a get-together with my colleagues from work where we were guided through the basics of the Chinese doctrine of feng shui, which talks about how our surroundings affect us in everyday life. The presenter shared about how different areas in life such as relationships, wealth, health and career are represented in different places in our homes and how we can decorate and furnish to bring in more of what we desire.

A few days later, my two friends and I were having tea at my house in the small one-room apartment I lived in at the time. I shared about the feng shui event and showed them my notes. "The southeast corner of one's home is the prosperity corner," it said, "while the southwest corner is the relationship corner." I looked around my apartment and noticed the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. "That must mean, then, that love is where the bananas are... or in the shower!"

These words have become something that makes us smile and feel connected to each other because they represent a moment we all took part in. But if someone else were to hear us mentioning them, we would need to explain the meaning behind that strange expression if we wanted that person to feel included in the conversation.

I - and probably many with me! - have experienced quite a few occasions in my life when conversations have been held without me fully comprehending what they were about. Sometimes the reason has been that apart from Swedish, there were additional languages ​​that some people in the company spoke and mastered, but I didn’t. Sometimes the topic has involved people I don't know, contexts I haven't experienced or things I know nothing about. There have been times when I've had access to my courage and my words and asked for explanation and clarification so that I, too, would understand. Other times I've kept silent and pretended it was fine and hoped it wouldn't be noticed.

And at times I've certainly been the one to talk about things in a way that has brought difficulty for some people to join in the conversation. It happens to everyone, I think - sometimes on purpose but hopefully mostly unintentionally. But over time, I've become more and more aware of how much of a difference it can make when we use our words in an inclusive way versus when we hold back the information and background knowledge that makes everyone understand what we're talking about, and how little that is often required to clarify what is being said so that all participants in the conversation can follow along with what is being said.

There can be many reasons why we experience difficulty reaching another person or hearing each other in a conversation. One of them can be that what we say does not match what the other person takes in (or vice versa).

If you have a relationship in your life where you talk past each other or where you otherwise experience obstacles in your communication, you are most welcome to book a video or email session here via the website. Together, we will talk about what happens when the two of you meet and look for ways and tools to reach more understanding and contact. If both of you wish to participate in the conversation, this is also possible!

And you are always welcome to comment, ask or share your own experiences below!



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