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You are not Your Audience

I have a younger sister called Samantha. Her friends call her "Sam".


When I was 23 years old, Sam was 16 years old.


One day, My mother asked my if I could pick up Sam from her friend Alexia's house.


I had not been to Alexia's house before and not met her family.


I drove to Alexia's house, got out of my car and confidently knocked on the front door.


Knock, Knock, Knock…


Alexia's father Bill answered the door dressed in his work attire as if he had just arrived home.


"I'm here to pick up Sam" I said with a confident smile…


Bill paused….looked me in the eye and said with a strange mix of bewilderment and intensity…


"I beg your Pardon! Who are YOU?"


"My name is Mark and I'm here to pick up Sam" I said


"YOU are her to pick up Sam……" Bill repeated as he inspected me like a security guard.


I could feel his intensity rise….my intensity was also rising…


I was getting a little frustrated as I repeated…


"I'm here to pick up Sam!"


I thought….as the protective older brother…..I'm going to walk straight passed you and get my sister and go home.


He called out with some attitude….


"Sam there is a young man, by the name of Mark at the door. He says that he is hear to pick YOU up…."


Sam arrived at the door with a big smile and looking pretty..


She looked me in the eye and flirtatiously said "Hi".


She smiled turned to her Dad Bill and said


"Oh, its not for me Dad, Alexia's friend Sam is at our house, there are two Sam's here"


The tension dropped…he smiled….I smiled…he invited me to come inside with a complete change of tone.


He had thought I had arrived to pick up his 18 year old daughter also named Sam….He had never met me before and did not even know my sister Sam was as at his house…..and I didn't know that he had a pretty daughter also called Sam.


It is so easy for misunderstandings to take place when we communicate.


Little things can escalate into larger things.


I have learned that just because I am thinking something, it doesn't mean that the other person is thinking the same thing.


The next time you communicate with someone don't assume that they are thinking what you are thinking. You might be surprised to find that they are thinking something completely different.


A few weeks later I said to my mum


"I'm just going to Alexia's house to pick up Sam!"


My mother said,


"But your sister Sam is inside". I replied, "I know!" 🤣