I Didn’t Notice It


Did you ever walk into a friend’s house and fail to notice a new picture on the wall or a new piece of furniture? How about when a friend shaves off his mustache but you don’t see the change? How many men have failed to notice a spouse’s haircut?

It’s not unusual, especially when you are busy, to not notice something even when it’s right in front of you. That’s what happened to me one time when I was talking with my daughter and trying to make sure she understands things about life. It seems that when I speak, however, I sometimes use derogatory tones or scrunch up my face causing wrinkles in my forehead, because she asked me the other day if I was unhappy with her. Now, no father likes to hear that from his daughter. Nobody wants to come across as unhappy when we’re not. Sometimes, we might not realize that our body language is sending a powerfully negative message that is different from our words.

There are a lot of things to consider before you communicate with your spouse or other family members. Timing and body language are so critical to the delivery of a message. It’s the little things you don’t notice that will be noticeable to the message receiver. It’s usually not what you say, but how you say it.

You can communicate a lot without speaking a word. Raising your eyebrows can show surprise or doubt. A frown can mean unhappiness. A smile can indicate happiness, but combined with your eyes, it can also show sarcasm. It’s easy to show anger by just giving a long, hard stare. Bulging eyes can reveal shock.

What it boils down to is that what you see is what you get, not what you hear or what’s not said yet. Your mouth is speaking words, but your body is talking simultaneously, sometimes distracting the receiver from what you are saying. Don’t just start speaking louder; adjust your non-verbal speech to match your words.

Try looking in the mirror and practicing how you are saying something before you say it. Consider your words and facial expressions and think about what’s in your heart to make sure your motivation is in the right place. What you’re thinking oozes out of your pores. Your body language is what will stick in someone’s mind. Learn to be a good communicator, and if you want to win at home—you’ll take notice.