Lost in Translation

Communication–ahhh, indeed one of the most important, essential key things to all successful relationships.

So I’m not sure if this is purely a generational thing or if it is a cultural thing, a gender thing…or perhaps a blend of all three. But recently with Fwet having gone through this and drawing on my own experience, I was inspired to blab about this topic.

Specifically, communication between parents –and as their children on the outside observing, maybe since we’re born in America, so we’re more expressive, in touch with our emotions (vs. I would assume in Asia, reticence is more the norm–OR perhaps speaking to the gender thing, guys tend to not be able to express themselves as easily–and women may tend to over assume the meaning behind a seemingly simple statement or action and get really upset (i’m totally stereotyping here–please forgive me heh) OR speaking to the generational thing–perhaps back in the day it was not as common or maybe communication in relationships was not as “evolved” as it is today? (I am not sure if I’m accurate here, but I think nowadays the importance of communication in relationships seems to be much more, or at least the awareness of it, vs. back in the days?)

Anyways so I remember when I was living at home after college, I found myself quite often as the mediator or “translator” between my parents when they’d have silly arguments (easily seen as silly from an outside observer–because its like duhh your communication sucks! 😉  And I’d often say “Hey dad, I understand you mean well but its the TONE that you’re saying it that makes mom feel like you’re being blah blah blah”  and then to my mom, “Hey ma, you need to understand that dad means well and to not react so quickly–Because at the end of the day you guys both love each other and that is the important start point to remember or keep in mind. (which on a side note was a bit awkward talking about love mushy stuff with my parents—Heh, growing up in a first generation Asian family, culturally love is shown through actions or different ways vs. actually saying those 3 words all the time)

But it was a funny feeling—being the “kid” all your life, and having that “parent vs. kid” dynamic where you’re always being advised, told what to do, then in this position, the kid is being the “wise adviser”–and I feel like compared to my parents generation (and/or culture?), these communication things are not easy or obvious to them—vs. I feel like (of course I know best right? 😉 more knowledgable and comfortable with the open communication concept.

Also, it is easy to write off your parents’ habits as “ohh they’re getting older and are probably just set in their ways and couldn’t change”–but you’d be surprised, with a few straight-up “wise” words of guidance from the fruit of their loins (sorry haha love that analogy ahem) they take it in…and actually are able to open up and change (albeit baby steps;)

So recently Fwet’s parents – same thing –and I shared with him how, you know, sometimes you have to be the wiser adviser (ooo that rhymes) and help mediate and basically translate for each parent to help them reach a better understanding. And it worked! 🙂

I wonder then, is this concept of being openly communicative in relationships, sharing feelings etc–a modern thing?