By Devora Krasnianski, Founder and Director of Adai Ad Institute
“I’m looking for a shidduch for my son,” the mother told me. “He’s a good kid but he’s chilled. I hope it is not going to be hard to find his shidduch.”
What do you mean by ‘chilled’?
“He’s still frum, but he’s working,” came the answer.
Tell me more about that balance…
“It’s not like he’s into drugs or anything like that,” she said. “Thank G-d! He’s more like… he never touched his beard (I don’t think). He davens everyday and he even joins a shiur a few times a week. And he’d never wear jeans.”
It sounds like he found a balance for himself, I said. There are lots of wonderful young ladies who are looking for a guy that fits that description.
The conversation continued…
She tells me that her son is kind, perhaps even too kind. And of course, he’s good looking, clean and dresses well. And responsible. And has a great sense of humor. And everything else a mother might kvell about.
This bochur actually sounds like a wonderful person, I was thinking to myself.
I know the parents; they are upstanding and respectable members of the community, involved in many chesed and community programs. And yet there was something niggling me about suggesting a shidduch for this guy.
After some reflection, I realized that it was the mother’s tone and choice of words when first describing her son. As if she was somewhat disappointed in him and his choices.
If it was about my daughter or niece that we are discussing, it would not be my first choice to introduce her to a family where the son is looked down upon. Ideally, she’d join a family who will love her and respect her for who she is.
So much of communication is not the overall message but the actual words, tone, what is stated first, etc. These all reflect what is in our hearts about the matter.
The words like “chilled”, he’s “still frum,” “but he’s working,” … “he even joins a shiur” are judgments, based upon one’s feelings on the subject.
When networking for shidduchim for your loved one, it is important to state the truth – of course. It would be inappropriate to say that he is learning in a top yeshiva when he is not. Yet, the words we choose to use to describe him ought to be objective and positive.
She might’ve described her son along these lines:
“We’re looking out for a shidduch for our Mendel. He’s a fine young man. He is a frum guy – that is he davens everyday with a minyan, learns several times a week. And he is already making a living as a developer at Z organization.”
Same bochur, same facts. And yet it sounds so different. The words (and tone) make all the difference.
The Adai Ad Institute’s programs provide the necessary tools and insights for a strong and successful marriage – starting with pre-shiduchim, continuing through the shiduch process and into the marriage itself. www.adaiad.orgi>