I was speaking to the State Street Global, Disability Awareness Group yesterday (I’ll bet you didn’t know that it’s National Employment Disability Awareness month?) and I got this question:
Â Â “I often think that I’ve explained myself (why I can’t do something) only to find people are angry or disappointed with me. How do I know when I’ve said “enough”?”
Needless to say, I couldn’t just toss out a one liner for that one. No neat pat answer there.
I asked her if she ever knew the answer to that question— and she looked confused. I could tell that she thought I was avoiding a response.
The problem was that I was (avoiding a quick response that is). Because I think this a complex issue, not one that you can just give a few pointers on. How do we ever know if people understand what we say?I mean, you never know for sure if what you’re saying is clear or even understandable to others. But, hey, if you’re worried, check it out. If you find people have the wrong expectations even after you think you’ve explained things, take a good look at what and how you’re saying it.
You might also ask yourself, does this happen in other parts of my life — do people seem to be confused or misunderstand what I say? What does that tell me? What might I do differently?
But I don’t think this is about living with chronic illness. I think it’s about effective communication. Rosalind