“Great granny, I fell and hurt my head.”
“Oh dear. Did your brain fall out?”
I always love to hear people’s responses to things because it gives me a really good idea of what’s happening in the black box that is their mind.
Are they paying attention?
How are they assessing the situation?
What are they concluding about what’s happening?
How are they choosing to respond?
What language are they using to express their reaction?
Are they moderating the words with non-verbal cues to provide a more complete expression?
What are they hoping to get in return?
I’ve grown to understand the English wry humour and dry wit in the years I’ve lived here.
In the anecdote above, Great granny had a smile and a twinkle in her eye, letting my young ninja know that she acknowledged his pain but that she wasn’t going to get hysterical about it.
He giggled and dusted himself off.
Where the intent is unclear, it may require some questions to clarify.
“Great granny! Did you want my brains to fall out?”
“No dear, I was just gently mocking you with love and humour to tell you that it’s OK to fall, you just need to get up again. And since you aren’t bleeding, you won’t be needing the bandage or the vodka.”