I woke up feeling great. I might not have, had I not Spoken Strong the day before.
I needed new calcium, so I asked Bob to get me some. The bottle looked similiar to what I was used to, but my first teaspoonful was way sweeter than normal. I read the ingredients – it contained xylitol, which irritates my digestion. I mentioned it to Bob who noted that it in fact did, but assured me that the amounts were so small there shouldn’t be a problem.
This is the point where in the past, I would habitually defer. But I thought about it, and decided not to take my second teaspoon. When Bob came back up I told him,
- I’d rather not risk the xylitol, even in small amounts.
I anticipated push-back from him, but got none. He replied, “I agree with you,” and got me a bottle of what I was used to.
Bob lives in a Mac truck body, and I can’t make him responsible for the care and feeding of my Ferrari body. He’s a great ally, and he lives pretty intimately with my sensitivities, but I live with them even more intimately. That’s why I need to speak up a first, second and third time when I have a concern.
I suspect his initial response was habitual and by questioning it, he had a moment to think about it. Perhaps he remembered what happened the last time we didn’t respect my sensitivities. I was so irritable that, as hard as I tried not to spread it around, I saw fear that I might explode any moment when I looked in his eyes.
The key learning here is that it isn’t just xylitol or some other irritant that causes problems. It the communication habit of going unconscious and silent at key points where we need to keep talking, exploring, and making decisions based on due consideration.
Where do you back off when you need to stay the course and go forward?