Body-language and nonverbal communication

Pet or child?

Pet or Child?

Last week I was told a story which is not so unusual I think. A colleague of mine visited Germany for a training course. Her mother was supposed to come to Germany right after the last day of the training course. Mother and daughter then wanted to travel around in Europe and have a nice time together.

Unfortunately it did not happen to be so!

Without any obvious regret ……..the colleague of mine told me that her mother has changed her mind because of a little dog she had bought just before the intended flight to Germany. Maybe you can already guess what happened. The mother has changed her mind and instead of visiting her daughter in Germany she stayed at home with the dog.

When talking to my colleague I couldn’t really be aware of regretting and missing her mother at the first sight. And sure that she felt very sad and disappointed inside so on first sight she behaved like an obedient daughter and understanding woman who could accept that the love for a pet, the love for the little dog was more important the mother’s love for the daughter.

On second sight there was a clear sign for a deep sadness which I could imagine to feel if I would have been in the same situation. My colleague finished her comment with the words: Maybe my mother missed a second child, a little boy she didn’t have. A second child she was not allowed to have.

This made me sad in another perspective:

  • ·         There’s the broken promise of the mother of coming to Germany
  • ·         There’s the unspoken sadness of my colleague feeling to be not as important as a little dog, the pet of the mother
  • ·         Of course sad on the cultural and social effect of being allowed to have only one child
  • ·         Finally there’s also a deep emotional challenge in this weird relationship: One could understand my colleague’s comment in the way that she thinks about not being as important as daughter than a boy, a son for her mother would be.


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