You Know You’re in Trouble…

When the stylist cutting my hair said, “Don’t worry, it’ll grow out by June,” I panicked. It’s February for God’s sake! “It looks great from the front. It was just a little misunderstanding.” Ya think?

I’ll try not to turn my head around for a few months.

Remember the mullet? Business up front, party in the back. Well this haircut is all party in the front, business in the back.

party up front

I’m partying now!

business in the back

All business back here…

Statistically, most people process less than 50% of what was is said. Is that scary or what?

Many times, they miss the negative words like no or not, don’t or won’t, or only remember a part of the last sentence. The stylist never heard the word, don’t!

Misunderstandings abound in reading and writing as well. Many times, I have read the tags at the bottom of a story, relieved to find the word satire or fiction.

Sometimes readers skim. I include pictures because they fill in the blanks for readers when they are in a hurry.

snow sculpture 5

Frozen Words – A Photo Essay 

When I first started blogging, I skimmed a really long fiction post:

A young woman went to a summer party. She hoped to hook up with a guy, but suspected he was involved with someone else. I stopped reading at the part when he led her to the pool house and they started making out.

I raced to the comment section and wrote, “Great story. Loved the imagery and description.”
Then, as I paged up, I read some of the other comments:

“Whew! Now I need a cold shower.”

“That girl has stamina.”

“She sure knows how to party. I had a different ending in mind, but she was one twisted sister!”

What? I scrolled back up to see what all the excitement was about. Oh my God! She had been kissing the one guy when another stumbled in on them and joined in the fun. Holy crap! They were right. I missed a really steamy three-way sex scene. After reading it, I needed a cold shower too!

Why didn’t she include pictures? Insert smiley face emoticon here.

Imagine how much is misconstrued in conversation.  We sometimes miss the intonation of subtle sarcasm or the hint of humor. I tend to say a lot more than needed to get my idea across. I suspect that my friends often check out and are making mental grocery lists by the time I get to the point of my story.

There is always so much to learn and practice. I believe the universe only hears positive words. Ironically, listeners tune them out too and often misunderstand the message.

“You said, ‘Don’t record over the season finale of Downton Abbey?’ Oopsy. I thought you said, ‘Record over the season finale of Downton Abby. Dang.’”

Next time, I’ll bring in a picture of how I want my hair cut. To avoid the funkiness, I’ll use positive words to describe it. In the meantime, I’ll keep on partying in the front and let the business grow in the back. June will be here before I know it. Right?

Has this ever happened to you?

Related links:
Changing minds

Listen More, Speak Less – 5 Steps to Better Listening

Active Listening

The Secret

121 thoughts on “You Know You’re in Trouble…

Add yours

    1. Downton was just an example although I could have done it easily since I have not gotten into that show. I know. I am the only one I am sure…
      You have beautiful hair Linda! I wouldn’t cut it either!


  1. Susie, it’s cute, and I mean that in the nicest way. I’m dealing with a bad haircut now. I got the newbie cutter and she got a tad overzealous. What I said was “I want it to look like I didn’t have a haircut.” She heard, “I’d like you to try to work this cut as close to business acceptable as possible.” I am not business acceptable.


    1. Thanks so much! I am considering wearing a hat to tennis on Thursday. The only really good thing about my hair is it grows fast!
      My husband gets the shortest cuts too and he always tells them to leave it long on top! They hear, “Cut all the hair on top!”


  2. Susie, I totally get that your hair cut wasn’t what you had imagined. But that said, I think it looks great! It’s a short bob. And the stylist did build it up in the back so that it doesn’t lay flat. It looks like a Dorothy Hammel hair cut back in the day. I bet you can swing that head of yours around and your hair flows back and forth filled with shine. In fact, I need my sunglasses! You’re not the only one that takes a long time to get across your point. Just look at me now. LOL! You wouldn’t happen to be Irish, would you? 🙂


    1. I am a McCartan, totally Irish and long winded! Just pour me a pint. Hahaha!
      Thanks so much! The weird thing about this “do” is it’s like dog ears. There’s not much transition from front to back…Oh well, It will grow and soon I’ll swinging my bob once again!


  3. Technically, I haven’t had a bad hair day since Reagan was in the White House – depending upon ones definition of “bad”. As for your hairstyle, I checked the pics, and you look just fiiine from any angle. Such a pathetic cry for attention, Susie – you should be ashamed!

    Wait! That wasn’t even what the post was really about? Lemme go back and re-read it.


    1. Hahaha! I didn’t use the worst photos, the ones that really show the bad hairstyle. I just couldn’t put them out there. Even my husband who would never usually agree that this was a bad cut, said, “Don’t use that picture.” Believe me. It’s like two different cuts.
      I cried for three days This is the fifth. My friends who read this will nod when I see them…Yep it’s that bad…
      By the way, it’s about communication, but you knew that already. 🙂 Thanks for reading!


  4. I used to think I had a great attention span, but once I started blogging, I realize I like lots of illustrations (one reason why I enjoy your posts!). I remember reading somewhere that blog posts should never have the word “don’t” in the title, probably for exactly the reasons you said!


      1. I love posting photo blogs since most have a short time to read and comment.
        Thanks, but the hairstyle had me crying for days. Today is the fifth. It will grow. I may tuck it behind my ears for a couple of weeks.
        I hadn’t heard about blog titles and now I am curious if I have any with negative words. Probably! I will be very careful how I talk in the future, although I got to believe it will take some practice. Someone should invent a buzzer that sounds every time! That would help!


  5. It looks adorable. Whatever it was supposed to look like, this is a good look for you. This is exactly how I got my hair cut when I chopped off 18″ in one fell swoop.

    But, yeah, a picture next time would probably work wonders if this isn’t what you were going for.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. Thanks Patricia! Maybe it will grow on me.
      18 inches??? You are a brave woman! I am going to start hunting for a picture to have with me for my next appointment with someone else in June!


  6. I think it looks great! Wish I could get up the nerve to try a radical new style. I tried last time I went to the hairdresser, but ended up only letting her take about an inch off the ends.

    But you are so right about the brain not always registering negatives. This is especially true in young children. “Don’t touch that!” you yell as the three-year-old reaches for Aunt Bertha’s antique vase. She looks at you, and then touches it anyway.


    1. I wish I would have known about the negatives when raising my own two kids. Somehow they survived. “Don’t run in the street!”
      I used to have long hair, but it was such a pain to make it look good. Now I don’t have much to take care of. That is one benefit! 🙂
      Thanks for reading!


  7. I think it looks great!!! My hair is a similar cut – just curly! I always bring photos after the time I told a girl I usually part it on the left…so she cut it about 3 inches longer on one side “for my part.” Not cute!


    1. Thanks so much! It’s not the hairstyle as it is the shock of getting something completely opposite of what I wanted. It is a funky punk hairdo! Maybe I should dye it purple and go for it! Hahaha!
      I’ve had that happen too. I would get one bunch of long hair every time it swooped to the wrong side…
      Thanks for sharing!


  8. First off Susie, I like your hair! I think edgy bobs like that are fun!

    And yes, I tend to hear the negative things before the positive, especially at work. We’re always our own worst critics.


    1. Thanks so much Jess!
      We are hard on ourselves, but the funny thing is that when we are being instructed, we won’t hear negative words like “don’t.” David Walker said it best in his comment. They teach salesmen to only use positive sentences since people only hear a 1/3 to 1/2 of what we say! Next time I’ll use a photo and not rely so much on words.

      Love your haircut! Are you still rockin’ the same one from your avatar?


  9. I heard a very similar comment from a young, apparently fresh out of cosmo school, “Stylist” a few weeks ago. I guess I’m partly to blame, as when asked how much to take off I said; Cut it sort of short. It grows fast. I might have gotten a clue when an older stylist walked by and said under her breath…hummm
    I didn’t realize at the time that the girl had gouged a 2 inch gap above my left ear with her clippers, and really didn’t look in the mirror till I got outside in the car. I only looked in the mirror then because the girls last words kept ringing in my ears: “Don’t Worry”. She said. It’ll grow fast. Thank God for Hats!!!
    Anyway, I have to agree with the other peeps here…your hair looks great.


    1. Awww! So great to see you Paul! Where have you been hiding out???
      Thank you! It’s just not what I had in mind and had grown out the back. Now it’s an inch long!
      Sorry about your haircut. It sounds much worse. 2 inches ABOVE the ears??? Youch!
      June is looking good….


  10. Hope the picture helps your hairdresser next time (though it’s a great cut from where I’m sitting!) 🙂 I’ve been noticing the issue with negative words the more text based communication I use… and pictures definitely help. I think I need to get back to some less wordy posts soon 🙂


    1. I try to keep my posts under 600 words and still many skim. I don’t mind and I love to see who has dropped by.
      Thanks so much Alarna! It will grow and I learned something about negative words!


  11. On the eve of my appointment with a new hair dresser…this is what I read. To be safe, I think I’ll be bringing a Power Point presentation.
    I took my daughter to a place when she was about 10. She actually got the “oops” out loud and I am STILL hearing about it!
    Your hair looks cute, but if it’s not what you wanted……


    1. Hahaha! A power point presentation is a great idea! Now I have a photo on my phone.
      An out loud “Oops!” That is really a nightmare. We do put a lot in those holding the scissors…
      I’ll eventually get the cut that I want. In June!
      Thanks so much Lisa!


    2. Your hair looks adorable. But I can just imagine your panic when she said it would grow back in June. Um, HELLO! This is slightly different, but I remember years ago getting my hair done for prom and coming home crying. My mom helped me take it all back down and fix it a different way before the big night. LOL. Sometimes there is a big error in the communication feed. :-/


      1. I have a photo on my phone to show next time. I just got back from having it colored my regular stylist said, it will only take 6 weeks to make a huge improvement. I took CC’s advice and bought biotin!
        I think misunderstandings abound every time we communicate..Thank God for moms!


  12. I’ve gotten hundreds of haircuts, and they’ve all looked exactly the same. I could ask them to shave my head and spray paint it purple and it wouldn’t make any difference.

    You’re right about the tendency to miss small, key words. I’ve learned the hard way to be neurotically clear when speaking to my eighteen-year-old son, or when ordering Chinese food. Not that it does any good.

    For what it’s worth, I like your haircut.


    1. Thanks so much! I’ll get used to it…

      Love that you include your son and Chinesse food in the same sentence…
      Now I know why my kids didn’t always listen to me. I used too many negative words! Uggh!

      It will be interesting when I get my funky do colored this morning. With my luck, it will probably turn out pink!


    1. Hahaha! Thanks Phil! It is a great cut except for the hunk out at my ear. I will try to speak positively in the future, although it will be hard to do…
      I tend to tune out if I am multitasking. When my kids call, I try to unplug!


  13. Great story! I’m so glad you love your new haircut!! 😉

    Seriously, though, I like it. It’s super cute. Mine is similar, but without the bangs.

    And I will tell you this . . . I know of what you say about the intonations on sarcasm. An officemate said to me the other day, “I never know if you are joking.” What? I’m ALWAYS joking. You can’t tell by my snarky tone and sly smile? Apparently, my wit is of the TOO dry variety. Either that, or he just doesn’t listen right. Yeah, that’s it.


  14. I love it, it’s smart and very cute. I know what you mean about misunderstandings. There was a note to a writer this writer posted on FB and it was a bit creepy. Half the people said, Awh, cute! The only cute thing was the handwriting, making it look from a kid but oh my! I’m always in troublefor not thinking before speaking :0)


    1. That does sound creepy! People don’t take the time to read.
      I get into trouble too. It may be a while before I am in the habit of avoiding don’t and not! I think we all get into trouble for not thinking from time to time. No one is perfect!
      Thanks Catherine!


    1. I bet that’s what happened! It actually looks like she took a triangle out from the haircut. I think she thought I said, “Isosceles” when I said, “Cut it straight, please!”


    1. The good news is I went in today for color and was told it will only take about 6 weeks. Yay! I can’t believe I am saying yay, but compared to 3 months….
      Thanks for stopping by!


  15. Oh, I like your haircut. But I know how it feels to get one that isn’t right — I got a haircut after a breakup with a guy, and the cut was all wrong! It was the worst because I worked with the guy and he totally knew and it was simply bad bad bad. I know I told the stylist ‘shorter’ but she heard ‘short’ and well, you can guess the rest.


  16. Oh Susie, your post takes me back to every bad hair cut I’ve ever had. And as a girl with curls, I’ve had a few. Despite their training, all kinds of stylists don’t seem to understand that when curly hair dries, it gets considerably shorter! (For the record, I like your reverse mullet!)
    I agree about the dangers of skimming. One has to be so careful 🙂


    1. Thank you! I have curly hair too. Can you imagine this cut when it goes wild???? Thank God for flat irons..
      I try to read everyone’s stories, but sometimes they are waaaay too long. Even when my posts are short, they get skimmed. I don’t mind. I am glad my friends stop by!


  17. I like your haircut. Besides, it could have been worse. You could have ended up with a ‘do like the really limber guy in the snow sculpture.

    You can always tell when you’re talking on the phone with someone and they’re not really paying attention. I know I’m guilty of not always listening carefully, but it’s even more annoying when somebody else doesn’t listen to me. Just because it is.


    1. Thanks Peg!
      I can live with the haircut and it really looks great from the front. I had looked forward to getting the rise up at my ear evened out. Oh well! I learned to always talk in the positive since negative words don’t get heard.
      I try to get away from my computer when my kids call. They used to bust me all the time for half listening!


  18. Your haircut story cracked me up! Great post, and it’s true how often we miss the meaning of a story in conversation or reading. I’ll try to answer your questions by the end of the weekend Susie. Two past weeks were hectic for me, sorry i didn’t write before.


    1. No worries! Thanks for getting back to me!
      My hair is growing and when I had it colored, the stylist, (different lady) showed me how to make it look longer. At least I learned something!


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