When something doesn’t quite come across the way it was meant, we like to pull out that old comforting phrase, “It’s the thought that counts.” And largely, that’s the truth. People will generally accept the thought over the actuality if they know your heart was in the right place.
There’s just one problem. If nobody knows what you were thinking, they can’t count the thought. That’s something I’ve been learning as I’ve recently entered a season of courtship. I’ve had to realize that, now more than ever, someone else needs to know what I’m thinking.
It turns out that it’s not enough to think affection at somebody. No, you’ve got to voice it or demonstrate it somehow. But there have been times where I’ve found myself shyly thinking something without letting it come out. And of course, my girl can’t read my mind, so all my unvoiced thoughts are lost on her.
Beyond just voicing affection, I also need to communicate to her what I think about how we’re doing as a couple and how things are going. I need to be giving her feedback on where we’re at and what I’m thinking about issues or life in general. Again, she can’t read my mind, and if I don’t tell her what I’m thinking, it’s hard to solve problems.
And after several missteps where I’ve kept my thoughts to myself and ended up making a mess… I think perhaps I’m starting to get it. That’s been my area to work on: making sure I voice my thoughts when it counts.
It doesn’t only apply to relationships; that’s just where it’s been most evident to me. This matters in any aspect of life where there’s another person involved. Friendship, management, customer service, whatever. People just aren’t mind readers. We must voice or demonstrate what we’re thinking, for only then will the thought truly count.