Elisha Cuthbert famous from the long running series ’24’ recently caused a storm in a teacup when she rolled her eyes at the wife of her fiancee’s teammate who had just let a pivotal goal through and this was captured on video and relayed to Youtube as the start of a catfight. Aside from highlighting yet another downside of celebrity I thought it showed the crucial importance of context. Cuthbert and Reimer (the other woman) quickly responded that Elisha was responding supportively to an idiotic comment from a fan.
It reminded me of how often I see couples talking about important issues and at the same time they are watch their partner hawkishly for any sign of disagreement, disconnection, anger etc. In this heightened state miscomunication frequently occurs. It seems that this whole controversy could have been avoided if someone had calmly asked Elisha, “I saw you roll your eyes what was going on for you?”
Steve’s tip of the day:
If you think someone is responding negatively try these 3 steps
Step 1 Describe the behaviour factually i.e. I saw you sigh and rub your eyes
Step 2 Share your interpretation i.e I thought you were losing interest
Step 3 Invite them to share their experience by saying in a curious and open manner, “Was that was happening for you?
If the answer is yes you can find a better time. If the answer is no you can say, “I’d be curious to know what was going on for you.”