One of the biggest problems I have is the difference in language. Both my parents speak fluent English, but my father grew up overseas, so he and I have different meanings for different words.
If I come to him on, say, a Tuesday night, and say: “hey dad, I’m going out for dinner” and leave the house at 8, he expects me home at 9. Including travel time.
And it’s even worse when I say I’m going out for coffee… he expects me home half an hour later.
I don’t know if he wants me to use a different word or description for my plans for the night, but the difference is clear. When you say “dinner” or “coffee”, he assumes that I am going to order, eat, pay the bill and then get in my car and leave. He forgets to include the social aspect of things, where you sit, talk for a while, consider the menu, order, talk again, eat, talk more, order coffee, talk more and then pay the bill and leave.
I think the biggest issue I face here is taking things literally, versus the extended meaning we give them. I tend to forget to explain myself because I just automatically assume he will understand me, and I will understand him.
Its a two way street!
But just in case you’re reading this Dad, I promise I’ll try and give you an ETA from now on!!
image via 1ms.com