When to Keep Your Trap Shut

human-mouthThis is a tough one. Especially when you are, ahem, “serving” in a professional capacity.

Here are a few suggestions for when to keep your mouth shut:

*  When you don’t know what to say.

*  When it is none of your business.

*  When you’re dying to say something ugly.

*  When you haven’t been asked.

Okay, so those are the easy ones. But what about those times you have been asked, and you are actually being paid for your opinion?

In animal communication you must be ready, willing, and trained to employ tact and diplomacy. And, if the truth be known, “diplomacy” is one of the most important skills one must have in order to be a professional animal communicator. And this swings both ways: in your communications with the animal involved as well as with that animal’s person. Basically, you, the animal communicator can often be caught in the middle of what is an explosive situation or issue. At such times it becomes very important to know how to interpret the messages back and forth, between animal and owner, in a way that is tactful and diplomatic without compromising the intent or meaning. This can be tricky!

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have been contacted by Sue, whose cat is peeing outside the litter box. Sue is at her wit’s end and what she basically wants you to convey to the cat is “Shape up or ship out!” Really. She is ready to get rid of this cat.

The cat, Ted, tells you that havoc is reigning in the household. Sue has moved them in with her boyfriend, who is being horribly abusive to them both, and this is the only way Ted knows to get her attention and maybe get her to move out. He lets you know he is also very worried about Sue’s welfare. Ted is so emotionally upset and on edge that his entire system has become out of balance so his urinary tract is now irritated and inflamed.

As the animal communicator, it is your job to convey what you get. But you know what? You just don’t have to use the words “Shape up or ship out” to that cat! Nor do you have to tell Sue that it is her fault Ted is behaving this way and that she has made him ill. Instead you would begin gently, with Ted for instance, by asking him what’s wrong and why he’s peeing inappropriately. You would let him know that it does displease Sue, greatly in fact (because humans are just like that about pee in the wrong places — they really hate it!), and that she is very distressed about this. Stuff like that. You would ease into the discussion and not even mention the “shipping out” part unless it became a last resort after sharing his information with Sue.

With Sue, you would let her know Ted had shared with you that they had moved in with her boyfriend, and ask her if this was true? You would let her know that he showed you great irritation, perhaps even an infection, in his urinary tract and that he was very tense and anxious. Further, that he seemed to feel the situation in the household was not a happy one, and he was concerned on her behalf.

And on you would go, back and forth between the two until some sort of solution that seemed reasonable to both was reached. In this case, the very fact that Ted showed such concern for Sue might very well open her eyes to her situation and help her overcome it. Above all, conveying their shared concern for one another in your “translations” will help these two both want to find a happy ending to their story.

So, back to the original question: When to keep your trap shut? Having the professional skill of diplomacy and exercising it in one’s personal life and relationships can be two very different matters. So I would add one more point to the above list:

* When in doubt . . .

This is a great time to keep your mouth not only shut but zipped up all the way!

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