I remember a telephone conversation wherein a friend told me something I did not expect to hear. When I replied, “Get outta here!” She asked me if someone had walked into my house.
Just a few years ago, I learned that it is good when one is in their wheelhouse (whatever that is).
And last week, my supervisor asked me, “What is the grist for the mill?” To which I replied, “What mill?”
Expressions like these are fascinating because they give you a little glimpse into the life of the person saying them.
Expressions of Empathy
One of my favorite expressions is, “Who YOU telling?!” The first time I heard it, I complained to a friend about the quantity of work we were expected to complete in a certain class.
My friend replied, “Who YOU telling?”
I followed with, “Um… you.”
After she recovered from her fit of laughter, she explained that “Who YOU telling?” means, “I agree. I understand. I can empathize with you.”
Since first hearing it, I’ve LOVED that expression and spend most days trying to see when I can interject it into everyday conversation. I like it so much because the phrase encompasses one of the essential parts of human interaction: empathy. It’s as if the expression encourages us to share what we’re going through with others.
C.S. Lewis (of Narnia fame) once wrote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too?” That quote speaks to the fact that God made us be relational creatures. And there’s no better way to live up to what we were created to be than to relate to each other with empathy and understanding.
Or, as the Apostle Paul put it:
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NLT).
Jael Amador writes from New York.© 2002 - 2022, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.