I was inspired to share this by Always Free to Choose – just found it a rather interesting coincidence that this sort of communication-differences thing had been on my mind and suddenly someone had posted a Love Languages quiz! Click, click.
Me: “I finally got rid of my dad’s old slide projector. I feel kind of upset about it.”
Spouse: “Why did you get rid of it then?”
Me: “What? We’ve talked about this stuff so many times. You know, because it’s not clear it still works, it takes up extra storage space when we already don’t have enough space, I never wanted to end up with it in the first place – it’s kind of my brother’s fault that I even have the old thing – and anyway, I want to get that digital slide conversion viewer thingy instead. Seriously, who would ever want to sit and watch me project slides from the ‘70s on a sheet?”
Spouse: “Then why are you upset?”
Me: “I don’t know. Part of me feels like I should keep these things like they were sacred items because this machine was kind of a centerpiece of many family gatherings when I was really little and my dad still enjoyed photography and sort of making it a family activity. But then when I was carrying it in to the donation center, I felt really sad and angry that my dad himself had never even pulled it out of storage since the ‘70s. If my brother and I neglected to ask after something, my parents always just said, ‘Oh, we assumed you didn’t care about that anymore.’ I wish my dad had made a point of resurrecting the old slide-viewing tradition.”
Spouse: “Well you didn’t have to get rid of it.”
Me: “Aren’t you even listening?”
Spouse: “I don’t get it.”
Me: “Okay, um…I’m happy, but I’m also sad that I got rid of it, and I also feel sort of guilty and mad. But I’m not sorry I got rid of it. It was just taking up space, and seeing it made me feel bad.”
Spouse: “That is way too complicated for me.”
So have you ever found yourself trying to explain to a friend and/or loved one the phenomenon of mixed emotions? If so, what words did you use?