One day while taking a visit to the grocery store, I heard a customer in front of me say, “????? (phonetic- yo may yo yo? Pinyin- you mei you you?)” As I waited in line, I watched as the cashier understood this complex logic of using the same words of pronunciation to form a question and also to state an answer. To a foreigner this sentence seemed strange and unable to be decoded. However, when you have discovered there is a common way to decode this sentence, you can easily answer too. It is just simple Mandarin Chinese.

This sentence simply asks, “Do you have oil?” Or literally, “Have not have oil?” In relationships we often use words that we are accustomed to using and expect our friends, family, and partners to automatically understand how to decode our meaning. If you want to improve you communication with your partner don’t make this assumption. Carefully select your words and timing. Words just like the sentence above have different meanings with different tones. If you find your partner not understanding your messages, take a step back and analyze how you are communicating. Have you given or explained your decoding syntax or are you assuming they should just understand? Relationships of any nature need time to understand how to communicate and not just blurt out words. Though this process will take time, you will find that it is well worth it. Remember if you are trying to communicate the word ‘have’ don’t get angry with others if you are shouting out ‘oil!’

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Author's Bio: 

Gerald Anthony is a PhD candidate in Counseling and current President of The Faith Hope and Love Foundation. He enjoys languages, culture, and helping others.