A few years ago I sat in on the tail end of a workshop when the facilitator had a Green husband and Blue wife come up front. From what I could gather, they had issues in their relationship for some time. The facilitator asked them a couple of questions in order to get them to communicate. Then, in frustration, she asked the Green husband: Do you even still love her?
It was three seconds of silence while he tilted his head, still had that very Green face, then answered “yes,” but more in the form of a question. His Blue wife just started crying and couldn’t stop for some time.
What happened? I wasn’t in the heat of the battle, and am pretty good at understanding Greens. If there had been a video, I would have loved to jump in and re-play that small ten second clip for both of them: His Green brain was still processing the last few questions, then this one was sprung on him: the implications, why the facilitator was asking such an obvious question, and where she was going with this line of questions with such an aggressive tone of voice…
The three seconds that it took was really quick – but only for this Green husband! If his Blue wife watched the replay without audio, she would have seen the love, hurt, and confusion in his eyes. Yet, in this pretty pressure packed situation, he still couldn’t get himself to just talk from the heart.
His Blue wife was horrified at the delay. Her perception was that he had to think about it “that long,” and then probably just lied. Blues are really good (or bad) at reading tone into something. That “yes?” did her in, and the tears started. An “of course” and a hug would have solved half of their relationship issues. But that’s easier said than done in the heat of battle when this high Green stayed in ‘thinking mode’ to rationally want to solve his relationship issues versus talking from the heart.