If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you flirt or make suggestive comments to another person, and your significant other is not around to hear it, does it hurt them? Does either question really matter? I think it does.
I attended a conference in Dallas this week. It was raining in San Francisco when I flew out on Saturday and still raining on Tuesday, the day I was scheduled to return. If you have ever flown in or out of SFO you know that rain shuts it down. My plane was scheduled to leave DFW at 7:25pm and it was delayed until 10:30pm. I went to a local restaurant to get some food since it was going to be a really long time until I ate again. I sat at the bar in between two gentlemen and ordered some food and iced tea. While sitting at airport bars business travelers usually chat each other up about what they do for work, how much they hate to travel and which airport is the worst to travel in and out of, along with other pleasantries. This time I sat next to Mark, an underwriter for an insurance company. We exchanged business cards as there was a business opportunity for me at his company. Because of the long delay the conversation went beyond the usual. We talked about our spouses and families. He told me about his family; the two kids and his wife. I shared with him how I met my husband and about my book. During all of this he had given me a few compliments, but nothing that made me uncomfortable. His gate was next to mine and the planes left within 20 minutes of each other, so we left the bar at the same time. As we walked towards the gate he touched my back and then made comments regarding my “voluptuousness” which I found inappropriate. We were steps from saying goodbye so I decided to let it go. We parted and a few minutes later I got the following text:
“Hey Kim…very nice to meet you and visit with you…too bad we didn’t meet in an airport several years ago…..now you have my personal cell # (wasn’t on my bus card)…safe flight back!!! – Mark”
“Not sure where this is coming from” was my first thought. I was so exhausted and didn’t think about it until the next day when I shared the text and the event with my husband. How would I feel if he sent the same text to a random woman he met in the airport, or any place for that matter. It would not have liked it in the least bit, let alone making comments to a woman about her body. Then again, I never would have known just as his wife will probably never find out. So, no harm no foul?
So, if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? There is not a definitive answer to this question, but there are some theories. Everything that vibrates the air creates the potential for sound, regardless of what conscious being is there to perceive it in the first place. If there is nobody is there to perceive it occurring, then it could not exist as sound, only vibration.
For those of us alive in the 70’s, people used to say things like “I get your vibe” or “I’m picking up some pretty negative vibes.” The word “vibe” (short for vibration) means feelings, moods or premonitions. I am going to suggest that Mark’s text is like a branch falling from a tree sending out a vibe to the world. I heard it, but does his wife feel it? Maybe not from a branch falling, but if she is perceptive enough she just might have. But we all know that feeling when something isn’t right and it doesn’t feel good. That is picking up a vibration from another person or persons. What a horrible feeling when you know that something isn’t right and you can’t put your finger on it. When it comes to your partner you have to trust those feelings because, while not 100%, there is a good chance a branch or even a tree is falling somewhere in your relationship. At that point it all comes down to communication.
If you are the one lopping off the proverbial branches or felling trees, don’t think that your partner doesn’t feel it. Be careful. When the whole forest comes down you might not like the results. You have to ask yourself “Why?” and take some kind of action. It is not fair to your partner to have unresolved feelings resulting from your negative vibrations. Don’t be selfish and ignorant. Instead be honest and communicative about why the negative vibrations exist so you can start sending out good ones. Also it is a matter of respect for your relationship. The rule is still golden – if you wouldn’t want your partner to do it then neither should you.
If you are catching vibes from your partner that don’t feel right, confront them and let them know how you are feeling. Are they coming from your insecurity based on issues from your past or is it coming from your partner? You should know the difference and if you don’t, seek professional help. Otherwise your partner will grow tired of unfounded negative feelings and accusations. My gut feelings were 100% right with my ex-husband, but I have to be careful not to put that on my new husband. It can be tricky, but the truth eventually reveals itself. You just have to be observant without being paranoid. The goal isn’t to catch someone in the act of wrongdoing, but to discover and resolve issues in your present relationship or from past ones. Unfortunately in the process will at times uncover wrongdoing, but don’t make that a given in your mind.
So, what is your vibe? To quote the Beach Boys, “Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations a happenin with her. Good good good good vibrations.”