Tuesday, 1 November 2016
They run out of yelling when I go quiet. #BritishDadStuff
You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you forget and start yelling back.
This is the biggest biggest lesson I have learned in my life.
And it is the one that still I always forget.
The power of going quiet.
When someone is screaming at you (like for going too slowly at a supermarket queue. I'll walk you through that one, one day) the screaming is meant to be a threat.
A barking dog.
It sounds like it's trying to get you to do something (in my case, start packing my food faster), but all it's really trying to do is get you to scream back.
But it's always always a sign that they care.
Here's the bit I always forget.
Silence or no-communication, that's what does damage to someone else.
Because you're leaving them high and dry.
I lined the car up for a parking space, and before I could reverse in, a Mini sped into it, front first.
I wasn't angry, I had no expression.
I was in shock.
My mouth was open thinking of where else I could park.
But then I realised the driver was threatened by this non-response, in full-on anger mode, and gave me 2 fingers.
(Even though he'd got the space - why is he all angry?)
I just sat there taking it all in.
And then the reverse gear dropped...
Am I suddenly the one with all the power?
Without even doing anything?
I was dumbstruck, but his anger had nowhere left to go.
He then had to sheepishly lock up his little car, walk away and leave it.
And the more I did nothing or said nothing, the more awkward and embarrassing it was for him.
When you go quiet, they can't do anything but panic into their mental crawlspace.
They're thinking "What are they thinking?!"
They didn't even get pushed. They go there all by themselves.
But I never remember this, and I'm really embarrassed of every time that I've barked.
(Yapped, more like)
When I open my big trap, I give them all kinds of ammo to throw back at me and hold against me.
It's like a martial art - there's nothing to grab onto.
Sometimes I find another space.
(PS 'Course, I wasn't shopping for a potato to shove up the Mini's exhaust, but you know, baby steps).
My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here
I can't look away from married couples who work together. How do they do it? #BritishDadStuff
I won't go silent though.
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