When Something Simple is Not So Simple

Has this ever happened to you?

You ask someone to do something that seems easy to you and they can’t do it.

And, you’re confused because it seems so simple and straightforward to you.

After all, you understand it and can accomplish it the way you want. Why can’t they?

But somehow, they can’t see it as clearly as you. They just don’t “get it”.

If you’ve experienced this and you want to know why it happens, here’s a very common reason…

It’s likely because you’ve forgotten something.

You’ve probably forgotten the enormous amount of time, energy, and effort you spent getting it simple in the first place. As a consequence, it no longer seems complicated or unclear to you.

Instead, it is now quite clear and, yes, simple.

One of the results of your process of  “simplifying” is that when you’ve got it simple, it is easy for you to keep it that way as well as … to explain it in easy-to-understand language, to answer any questions, to use analogies to create clarity, etc.

You might even begin to think of it as “common sense”.

And, because of this, you might have expectations that other people have the same “common sense” – especially when they seem to “get it” when you explain it to them.

Then, when they can’t do the “simple” thing you ask them to do, you might get frustrated, upset, disappointed, angry, or any of the hundreds of emotions that can be triggered by your expectations.

Because, after all, it’s clear and simple for you.

Here’s one way to avoid the upset.

Understand that there is no short cut for them to get as good as you are unless they spend the same amount of time, energy and effort that you spent getting competent.

That’s when it will also be simple and clear to them –  and, that’s when they will probably be confused about why other people don’t understand, see, and do what they can.

This “misunderstanding” can be a recipe for miscommunication, misinterpreted intent, and even a breakdown in trust.

Which is a good reason to keep reminding ourselves:

“Keeping something simple doesn’t take a lot of energy but getting something simple takes enormous energy.”

If we remind ourselves often, it helps us remember the next time we ask someone to do something that we think is simple…

It just might not be so simple to them.

For more on “keeping it simple” you might be interested in another of our blogs.