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What’s The Big Deal!

Does your fiancé say those words whenever you mention a problem that has to do with the wedding preparation?

How do you interpret what he means?

One of my clients was so frustrated with her fiancé because she felt he dismissed her concerns whenever a problem appeared and repeated the expression: “What’s the big deal!”

“Did you ask him what he means?” I asked her.
“No,” she said, “he just doesn’t want to face or get involved in the problem.”

“Is that your interpretation?”
“This is the first time since we’ve met a year ago that he keeps saying those words, and I’m sure that it stems from him not wanting to get involved.” She was adamant about her claim.

After a moment of silence, I attempted to pierce her rigid stance: “Your interpretation is your own meaning that you attach to words or actions based on your own perception of those words or acts. But they are not what the person who said the words or did the actions exactly intended.”

“I made the interpretation according to my understanding of his personality,” she resisted.

“You made the interpretation according to, partially, your understanding of his personality but also according to your view of the world around you. Who have you heard in your circle of family and friends say those exact words and it’s been known about them that they don’t want to get involved or face problems?”
She thought for a moment and then said: “My uncle.”

“It’s easy for each one of us to misunderstand our fiancé when we base our interpretations upon our own blueprint of our environment and not theirs. Your fiancé is a new member of your life. You both are in the process of knowing everything about each other. It’s like a discovery journey of the intricate details of your life’s partnership. So, giving one-sided interpretations without asking your partner to clarify is like going into a dark room that you’ve never entered before. You’ll stumble on whatever is in your path and you might get hurt,” I explained.

Interpretation of other people’s words or actions without knowledge of their true intent is one of the major blocks that cause relationships to fail and for feelings to get hurt.

So, next time your fiancé says: “What’s the big deal?” Go ahead, and playfully ask him: “Honey, what do you mean by saying ‘what’s the big deal?’ ”

Comments (10)

I need to remember this...my boyfriend often says Whatever. And I see red when I hear that word to me that means I don't care about this situation so I am choosing not to participate. He keeps telling me it means you decide I am okay with you making that decision. I need to listen to what he is saying and not my own interpretation Stopping by from UBC..
    Michael, it's great that you acknowledge your interpretation of your boyfriend's words. Yes, listening and not doubting what he says will help in building trust between you. Thank you for stopping by from UBC!
I am so big on asking people to clarify EXACTLY what they mean when they say something that may seem dismissive, rude or off the cuff. Usually my gut reaction is right - that they were being a douche in some way... but for some reason, when they actually take the time to articulate how they really feel, I no longer feel slighted. You can't control how people feel or make them respond to a situation the same way you do... it's nice to be in agreement but that's not always the case. And that's okay... that's totally okay....as long as you take the time to speak your truth. I'm all about that. I hope your friend/client takes your advice and actually digs a little deeper with her soon to be husband. Jumping to conclusions and only seeing things from through your filter is dangerous for any relationship, especially a new one.
    Tamala, I agree with you on when people take the time to explain your feelings change and your perception of what they say change. Each and everyone of us are different in the way we filter the information we receive or interpret. Our filters depend on many elements, among which is our environments, genetic makeup, cognition, perception, and much more. True, it would be nice to be in agreement and people to respond in the same way we do, which is a different blog topic by itself. Thank you Tamala for your insightful comment!
This is something I am bad about doing. I try to interpret the words my husband just used to figure out his real meaning. But he is an I mean what I said kind of guy.
    Cindy, trust is built when words and action match. When your husband says he is "I mean what I say" kind of guy, then there is no need for your own interpretation, especially when his actions are in sync with his words. When you said, "this is something I am bad about doing", it gives me an indication that your interpretations were proven sometimes to be ....not very precise! When in doubt, ask your husband to clarify, even if he means what he says; sometimes words are used vaguely, or have different meanings, just to make sure you don't misunderstand him. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your experience!
after reading this post, i am thinking i should think before i speak :) nice post
    Amar, sometimes we all need to think before we speak. Thank you for pointing this out!
I'm terrible for letting things pass and then stewing over what they may or may not have meant. I really need to get things off my chest sooner rather than later. I guess knowing is half the battle. I'm a work in progress.......
    Great effort Ann-Marie! Work-in-progress is what learning is all about. Ask for clarification, it will save you a lot of time and energy. Thank you for your beautiful comment!

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