It is a rare event when I am quick on my feet with a response when it comes to this complicated thing called communication. Usually, when on the spot, words either don’t come out of my mouth or the wrong words come out. Then, I want to find a dark hole and climb in it. That’s one reason why when the phone rings at home, I am not the first one in the house to jump up and answer it.
A challenging day for my communication skills is when subbing as a physical education (P.E.) aide. This assignment’s plus or minus, depending on how you look at it, is I have contact with pretty much the entire student body. I cannot escape kid’s questions such as “is it dangerous to not drink water” or a child’s plea for justice “so and so called me a…”. Kids don’t want to wait more than 5 seconds for an answer or justice. So any time I am quick with a comeback response is a moment of celebration.
Once upon a time, a little girl came up to me and said “the girl over there in pink told me I was crazy”. I tried to assure her she wasn’t and went over to the girl in pink and asked if she said the other girl was crazy. She denied it, of course. The accusing student said, “She did say I was crazy! She’s lying because she doesn’t want to get in trouble.”
Well, this banter back and forth continued until I said, “Look, I wasn’t a witness. So you’re not crazy, you’re okay (the one in pink), and I AM THE ONE WHO IS CRAZY!” That stopped their bantering.
Another problem I have with communication is taking people literally. As to whether or not the girls took me literally about my being crazy, I have no idea.