Don't Shoot the Messenger

Don't Shoot the Messenger
By JoJo Tabares
I see it time and time again-people frustrated with friends or family who “just don’t understand" them.  They ask why, but when they are told it’s because they weren't clear or sounded harsh, they don’t want to hear that.  They want to hear that it’s the other person’s fault.  I've even had people send me a message asking, no, PLEADING with me to help them because they don’t understand why they are always misunderstood.  I tell them.  I share it in the most gracious way, but they don’t want to hear that they need to change.  They want the other person to have to change. Remember the man who asked Jesus what he must do to be saved?  Jesus tells him to give up all he has and follow Him.  The man doesn't want to hear that.  He walks away sadly.  I’m sure Jesus was sad too. When we have a problem, we often tell a close friend.  We want that friend to say, “It’s okay.  The other person just isn’t listening.  They are the problem not you.”  We don’t want to admit that we could be PART of the problem or even CAUSING the problem.  We don’t want to hear that we need to change.  We don’t like change.  We just want things to change. Well, I ‘m here to tell you the sad news.  Things will likely not change unless we do.  We have to change in order to make changes in our situation.  I wish I could tell you that there was some magic pill we could take that would change the world in such a way that we could remain the same and things all around us would change.  Our finances would be better, our health would improve…our friend would understand us.  Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. Just like we cannot become healthy if we don’t change our eating or exercise habits, we cannot improve our relationships without making a change.  Relationships are all about communication and, if you are constantly being misunderstood, you need to face the fact that it might be, at least in part, something YOU need to change. If you have had trouble getting your point across, if you have been told you are too harsh or too timid, if you have been misunderstood, if you have had conflicts with others, don’t wait for THEM to change!  Don’t shoot the messenger; change yourself!  If you don’t know how, Art of Eloquence can help.   ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as and  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit If you liked this post, please subscribe to our RSS feed and share the link…


  • Cindy Holman

    Good stuff here! I totally agree!

  • Carla

    VERY valid point! We want everybody else to change, but not us. In a perfect world. . . maybe. In our world? Ain’t gonna happen! And this is why I so often ask you for an opinion, JoJo. I know you won’t pee on my boots and tell me it’s raining. . . even if I’m not too fond of what you have to say. I would much rather have honest criticism than than all the sugar-coated FALSE flattery!

  • Mary Joy

    You make a very good point and in such a gracious way. We all need to work on ourselves in order for our relationships to improve. Thanks for the reminder. Looking forward to hearing some of the ways we can improve.

  • JoJo

    Thanks Sam and Maggie. Glad you both enjoyed it.

  • Maggie Lesure

    This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind.

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