Recently I met up with a distant relative – and I found it hard going! During the time I spent with this person, time slowed down, I felt stressed – and then exhausted. In fact I felt like I had been slowly suffocating!
I thought about this afterwards – and came to the realisation that the reason it was so difficult was that it was a one way conversation! I listened to this person talk about their world, details of what they had been doing – and never once did they ask anything about my world! First, I listened to them, nodded or answered in response – and often asked another question. After a while, I found it a strain to listen – the conversation was getting boring.
I was aware of my own behaviour after some time – I tried to talk about myself – what I had been doing, news about my family, our property and of course the horses. Each time, the conversation hit a brick wall. It went nowhere. Then I noticed I was picking up my phone, scrolling through anything to distract myself, not caring if I was rude – but still responding at times where appropriate. I was looking for an escape! Finally, I just accepted that this was how it was – so I conformed. I accepted that I just had to put up with it until it was over.
When our time together finally came to an end, I was exhausted! I found I had been clenching my jaw. It’s not an experience I would want to repeat in a hurry!
Once again, I thought of the experience in horse terms.
So – what does a one way conversation look like to the horse? And how might the horse feel?
As I write this, I’m going to pretend to be both the human and the horse – and I’m going to behave like the person I have described above…
So “One Way Heather” is the human – and will be referred to as OWH. “Horse Heather” of course is the horse – referred to as HH.
HH – Oh no! Here she comes! What does she want now? I think I will walk further away
OWH – Look! I have a carrot! Come on!
HH – Hmm – well I want the carrot…. sigh… I guess if I want the carrot I will have to go with her. I will just stand here and see if she comes to me!
OWH – There you are! Now come on! We’ve got work to do!
HH – Puts on a sour face – pins ears back….
OWH – Just stand still while I saddle you!
HH – But I have this really itchy spot… at the back of my leg….
OWH – Oh we need to hurry! I’ve got a meeting this afternoon. Just stand still!
HH – I don’t know why she is rushing! It’s making me anxious and cranky!
OWH – Phone rings… Oh hi! Yes I’ve just saddled up! We are going to do some exercise… what? Oh! I will see you later. HH is in a mood today! As usual! Ears back – forever fidgeting!!! I’m going to practise some walk, trot, canter transitions ….okay… talk later!
HH – A mood! I’m in a mood! She’s in a hurry and she’s talking! Why wouldn’t I be in a mood! She hasn’t asked me how I am! She doesn’t even see me!!!
OWH – Come on! Walk out!
HH – Sigh – this saddle is uncomfortable – and why doesn’t she realise she’s putting all her weight too far back – like she’s dragging me backwards! I think she’s just stupid!
OWH – Using the whip… come on – trot, trot, trot!!! Tap, tap tap tap……
HH – I’m trotting – why are you still hitting me? How would you like to be carrying a sack of potatoes?? You really are very stupid!
OWH – Ok – canter!!! Whack!!!!!
HH – What??? Oh I have to lose this load! Or I will lose my balance! She hasn’t listened to a word I’ve said…… I can’t take it any longer!
And One Way Heather is bucked off……
Horse Heather has delivered the ultimate rejection………
What will One Way Heather do next?
We have all been One Way Heather’s at some time… did we find an answer?
Stay tuned for the next episode!!
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