Brad Feld

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Golden Retriever Eyes

Aug 20, 2006

This is a special Sunday hint for all my male friends out in blogland.  It’s in the spirit of my work life balance post.

These are our golden retrievers (Denali and Kenai).  They are looking at Amy, who happens to be standing next to me as I’m taking this photo.  Notice their eyes – they are giving Amy their 100% undivided attention.  We call these “Golden Retriever Eyes.”

I have a special talent.  When Amy is talking to me, I can be doing something else (e.g. typing on my computer, reading a book) and – when she says “Brad – you aren’t listening to me,” I can repeat back the last two sentences that she said to me word for word.

For a number of years in our relationship, this was effective (at least for me.)  At some point, Amy realized this wasn’t satisfying to her – she’d figured out my special talent – and realized that her assertion (that I wasn’t listening to her) was close (I was listening, but I wasn’t paying attention.)  After several “conversations” (definitely a euphemism in this case) about it, Amy realized she didn’t want me to just listen, but she actually wanted me to pay attention.

So – give your special friend “Golden Retriever Eyes” when she is talking to you.  That’s what she really wants.