Tuesday, July 22, 2014

E is for Emptying the Basket (or as I call it: Conversational Vomit)

Last week was interesting for me, and a lot has happened. However, when I got to my life coach appointment, I found myself spending a good portion of the start of our session talking about bullshit. Inconsequential tidbits that have no bearing on our session (or so I thought...wait for it). Ever do that? Get on the phone with someone or meet up with someone and just start rambling? Like you've been holding in this conversation sooooo long that you were about to burst if you didn't let it out?

Yup. Don't lie.

Well, guess what...there is a term for that. It's called "emptying the basket." And the funny thing is, we all do it yet it bothers us all (usually the world is a mirror...). Especially us Type A-ers whose patience wears thin when we can't check off what WE want to cover on the call (or in the conversation) because someone else is conversationally vomiting.

It really is a practice of patience to let someone else empty their basket. Another thing I have problems with. But, like everything else I am doing, or shall I say, relearning, I am working on it.

Here's a good example (I've tossed and turned on whether or not to use the person involved's real name but decided I love them too much to do it, so...). I speak to an old friend weekly. Sometimes bi-weekly. Every time I get on the phone with them I have to sit through some pretty mundane talk. Gossip mostly, or idle tidbits. I can not even connect with that kind of talk, especially because it's about people I don't even know. They go on and on. I zone out (how rude, I know). Then it's the grocery list or the daily errands. The whole beginning of our conversation I want to scream, or worse, hang up. I've talked about this with my Life Coach and she just laughed and said something to the effect of, "like you just did?" Touché Life Coach, touché. So, we worked on how to approach those weekly conversations. It's simple. WITH LOVE. I need to understand that we all do this. We all want to be heard. Want to be understood. When you approach this kind of situation with love and shift the way you converse, or rather listen, the other person shifts as well, and the conversation can be a beautiful thing. It makes me think of my recent post about being more like Maddie. I use less words. I keep it simple. I'm loyal and I listen. I still roll my eyes here and there but now I catch myself doing it (thank G-D this person does not use FaceTime of Skype). I let the others empty their basket and love them for it anyway. I don't cut them off anymore or say, "my turn" or think "what about me." I make it all about them, which shifts something in me.

So, next time someone vomits all over your phone call or happy hour meet-up, shift your perspective (and if they're really throwing up, shift your position) and let them empty the basket. Love them for it. You'll end up loving yourself for it, too.

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