It was starting to freak her out.
When Dan came home from work each day, Carol loved to ask him how his day went, especially on the days when she knew he had a big meeting or something extra going on.
But all she got for replies were one-syllable grunts.
Their conversation went something like this…
“Hi, honey! How was your day?”
“It was good.”
“Oh, I’m so glad! How was the meeting?”
“Oh yeah, tell me about it.”
“I just answered you. It was good.”
Actually, this is a predictable pattern, with a predictable result… but it’s probably NOT what you think!
Let me explain.
Think back to the Hunter and Gatherer era in civilization as researcher Alison Armstrong explains it..
Let’s say you’re a hunter. You go out, kill the deer, haul it back to camp, pound your chest and you’re done.
Now let’s say you’re a gatherer. You head out, find some berries and gather them up.
And when you get back to camp, you congregate with other gatherers, and you explain…
…where you found the berries
…exactly how to tell when they’re safe to pick (because if you pick them before they’re ready, they’ll make people sick)
…exactly what the leaves of the plant they grow on look like
In other words, anything and everything you can possibly think of to make sure other gatherers know exactly where the berries are, and how and when to properly pick them, you share with them.
Are you starting to see the parallels here for Dan and Carol’s conversation?
Have you figured out which of them is the hunter, and which is the gatherer?
It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
When a gatherer is trying to “gather up” all those details from the person they’re talking to but isn’t getting them, their first thought is that the other person’s mad at them.
If the other person’s also a gatherer, they probably are!
But if the other person’s a hunter, they’re just being a hunter.
And if the gatherer doesn’t understand this, it can lead to self-doubt, second-guessing, kerfuffles — and perhaps worst of all, the gatherer starts to worry that she can’t trust her partner (because he’s not sharing, so he’s “withholding details).
See, in the “gatherer” model of the world, we share information. And if someone DOES NOT share information, then they are not to be trusted! (why wouldn’t they share their information about the berries, unless they were up to no good)
It makes total sense when you see it through this filter… but in the REGULAR world of TODAY… it makes NO sense and causes lots of kerfuffle.
Typically, the gatherer goes into a negative spiral of doubt or mistrust and starts reacting… pressing for details (trying to get him to TALK)!
Meanwhile, their hunter partner’s sitting there, totally puzzled, thinking this all came out of nowhere.
One of the tools Paul and I teach our hunters to help eliminate these kinds of kerfuffles is to share just three details with their gatherer partners.
It’s not the same level of details that gatherer’s give to each other, but it’s enough that their gatherer partner feels connected, trusted and secure in the relationship.
When we taught this tool at one of our Relationship Breakthrough Retreat live events, Dan quickly realized he needed to implement this.
Dan started to use the time while he’s driving home from work to decide which three details he’ll share with Carol when he gets home.
He does it all the time now, and they both love it!
The hunter/gatherer dynamic’s pretty eye-opening, isn’t it?