It was a touchy conversation – the kind that could get contentions. This time, the conversation created connection.
“Can I tell you what you just did right?” she asked.
“I’m not trying to get it right,” he replied with tears in his eyes. “I’m just being real.”
She understood the distinction. She rephrased her statement.
“What I really appreciate that you did is…” Her revised phrasing liberated her acknowledgement from a rating context.
It might sound picky, but we all are sensitive to subtleties like this. The fact is, context changes everything. Language creates contexts that we might not be aware of, but that we respond (or react) to.