Who’s being a butthead?

This comes from a conversation with my seven year old:

Me: how is your little brother?

7 year old: he’s fine.

Me: is he being a butthead?

7 year old: yeah but he’s only that way when he’s frustrated.

The irony of life is that some of us never TRULY “grow up” in the area of MOST importance:


Communication is the most vital aspect of our lives because it’s what we are consistently actively or inactively engaged in DAILY. -MannyV

Think about it for a minute; as an infant, you cried whenever you wanted to relay a message of a NEED or WANT:

  • cried when you were hungry
  • cried when you were in need of a diaper change
  • cried when you were in need of affection
  • cried when you wanted that colorful toy that called your attention
  • cried when you were tired instead of simply going to sleep but you didn’t know how to express that sense of fatigue and therefore cried


Those same traits of throwing tantrums are akin to when we “act out” towards others…when others are acting out against us, it’s because they are like a child who is frustrated & doesn’t know how to express themselves.

It’s not personal!

This is what I mean by stating that it’s not personal: it is not about how we are, who we are, but rather about them & their limitations (limitations of knowledge, limitations of communication skills, limitations of knowledge & the how skills to express love).

“Miscommunication often leads to misunderstanding, which rarely leads to anything good.” -Charles F. Glassman

Iraq 2004:

During a patrol as infantrymen in the Army, my platoon came across some explosive ordinances.

I was the RTO (radiotelephone operator for this mission) and when my Lieutenant ordered me to reach out to the higher command’s headquarters to notify them of the situation, I was instructed by them to have my guys “secure the IED”…

If was to tell you secure something, you’d likely grab a hold of it to ensure that it’s safe/unable to go anywhere/retained/etc.

Now walk with me in MY perspective of who “my guys” were:

  • Comrades that I trained with for approximately 12 hrs daily
  • Friends that I spent time with on our time off (weekends/holidays)
  • Family because we had to rely on each other as such unit because our kinfolk were hundreds/thousands of miles away.

And at this moment I am told to have my comrades/friends/family risk their safety in order to ensure that the explosive device is secured.

What do you think I did based on my understanding of the commander’s order?

I argued with them stating:

“I will not tell my Platoon to get a hold of the explosives!

We were infantryman: trained to close with & neutralize the enemy with fierce determination & force. We were NOT trained to handle explosives, that’s another military occupation specialty (MOS)!”

Well, after my Lieutenant got on the radio to communicate with higher command, they explained that we had to SECURE THE AREA (not the explosives themselves) until those qualified to handle it would arrive (HOURS later).

How dare I question/rebuttal an order!?

How do you think that went for me? That’s right! Not good!

Lessons learned in communication?

  • Be precise in communicating what the intended message is
  • Relay the perceived understood message back in order to clarify the interpretation of the message
  • Don’t ever publicly challenge a person in higher authority over you (use TACT…I confess that it took me YEARS to learn that one)

Closing “wisdom” statement of this article ?

{You choose to communicate positively or negatively…even if you think that your passive stance isn’t negative…but it is}


If you found this message to be helpful in any aspect, feel free leave a comment or simply share with others.