Ethiopian Coffee Versus Sri Lanka's Lack of Coffee and Unexpected Lessons
I am exploring something interesting.
With the change from the land of coffee in Ethiopia, to the land of tea in Sri Lanka -
The coffee here in Sri Lanka, understandably, has been brewed with less strength than I was getting used to in Ethiopia.
The tea here is brilliant.
But, I long for coffee.
And this morning, I watched as a dark river of coffee poured from the coffee pot into my cup by a waiter - and I remarked to the table at large, "The coffee here is strong."
And it was interesting, I meant the statement in a positive, anticipatory light, as in, "Finally! A strong cup of coffee!"
But the server pouring the coffee was worried that I thought it was too strong - and I politely demurred as he apologetically offered to brew another pot for me.
And it is interesting to me -
Because I had made a neutral observation - when you look at the words,
"The coffee here is strong,"
there was neither a positive nor a negative in my simple comment.
It was the gentleman who put his interpretation into it....
Worrying that he had done something that was displeasing.
And what I really meant was, "Hallelujah! I am super excited that today is the day where we get some strong coffee after three weeks of the weak stuff!!!!"
In watching this interaction with the waiter, it is easy to see why what I felt inside of me was not heard by him -
It was I who failed to give my internal feelings of delight at the caffeine laden goodness - I did not give it verbal meaning. I did not use voice inflection or facial expressions to clue him to my meaning.
And in this example, my unexpected joy at seeing the coffee being poured as strong -
came out as a neutral observation, a simple, "The coffee is strong."
there were no clues to what I was feeling, and so the waiter could not perceive what I was feeling -
so he did what was natural, and he added his own experiences, his own preferences, his own judgement to my neutrality.
And this may be why I often miss what others really mean, I would guess that they sometimes express neutral statements -
and I, more often than not, miss what they really feel inside of them by adding my own judgements, my own preferences, my own experiences to their neutral statement - and I come to false conclusions.
How do I express more accurately how I feel inside in my statements ----
and, is it important for me to do so?
Will this aid my personal journey of cleanly understanding others as well as being cleanly understood by others?
I would like to know - how to best explore what others really feel as they are neutrally expressing.
What are some creative ways to ascertain what they really feel that open up possibilities
instead of my default of jumping quickly o conclusions when they express a neutral statement?
I feel that this may be a key to interacting with others more understanding.
And I think this is something that I feel many people long for -
to be understood.