Yes, There Has Been a Communication Breakdown

Day 2-What I am Afraid To Do
The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.
I’ve been debating for the last forty-five minutes in regards to what I should write about; No, it’s not that I can’t come up with an idea, because I always have something in my head. It’s just that when I’m thinking about multiple things, I become indecisive. In this case, it’s more of “do I write about the topic that that’s considered ‘happy’? Or ‘not happy’?” 
Yet, this has been swimming around in my mind for a good amount of time. It does scare me to talk about it, being that it is one of my weaknesses and I am slightly afraid of how those that read my blog will react to it. If nothing else, at least I can get it off my chest. 

I have always been one to tell people, (especially friends) that if they have a problem with me or I do something hurtful toward them, to come and talk to me about it. Little did I know how hard those words would hit me straight in the face, mostly in the last couple of months. 
I’ve never been good at going to someone personally and telling it like it is, whether it be about them or not. There have been times where I have confided in someone, only to be told that it is wrong to feel the way that I do, or that those feelings are just a product of my imagination. Most of the time though, it’s because I don’t want to blow a situation out of proportion, nor do I like arguing or yelling. Hence, I normally choose not to bring it up and hope that the passage of time itself will smooth things over. 

My biggest fear is not having the ability to find the right words, but rather how the person will take it. Not very many people like or appreciate being confronted (even if that’s not how the talker is intending to do it, which I’ll get to later), so it’s only natural for anyone on the other side to feel defensive. There is a chance that one might say “You’re being so selfish; you don’t understand that I have my own life to deal with. I feel like you expect too much from me.” 

And while I’m not one hundred percent perfect at it, I do my best to be understanding of various situations. I understand that some work a lot and/or take  classes, so either one or both of those things take up a lot of their time. I understand that sometimes things come up where one has to cancel on another and reschedule whatever they’re doing. I understand that technology is a pain, and that sometimes people just simply forget (or get drunk beforehand and forget because they’re drunk). I understand that people are human, as am I.

But even though I do what I can to put myself in others’ shoes, is it so wrong to feel somewhat neglected, or at least forgotten? If nothing else, is it wrong to want to be acknowledged and to at least know that that person is thinking of you? 

I understand that there are circumstances where one should simply dust the dirt off their shoulders and keep going. But if something happens repeatedly or on a regular basis (in other words, it becomes a cycle) then I definitely think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.  If it’s not addressed and the cycle keeps going on and on, there will come a point where the roof will cave in, so to speak. 

I’ve said this before, but I am not particularly good at verbal communication, which is also partially the reason why I write as well as why I blog. However, there are times when talking to someone personally is most effective. It all depends on the way one goes about it. 

Let whomever you’re talking to know right away that you’re not out to attack them-It’s important to let the person know that what they’re doing to you isn’t OK, but you don’t want them to get angry in return so that they won’t listen to what you’re saying. Be firm and let them know that you’re not taking any BS, but do your best not to become angry to the point where hurtful words can possibly start flying. 

Explain how you feel, but also acknowledge that you’re also doing your best to try and see things from their perspective-This shows that not only are you trying to be honest with them, but you’re also thinking about how they feel as well. 

Ask them if they understand what you’re saying, and then allow them to explain their side-I’ve said this previously, but sometimes a situation can look like a notebook; one person sees the lined paper side, and the other sees the plain side. You’re not only communicating with them so that they know how you feel, but it’s important to take into account how the other person/people feel too. 

What the other person/people can do…

Listen-it’s a very simple thing, really. Just listen to what they have to say, without interrupting. It may be hard to hear, but regardless if their view is justified or not, it is how they feel. And if you genuinely care about whomever is telling you these things, then you should care about their feelings. 

Make sure you completely understand what the person is telling you, and if not, ask for clarification-The conversation will be pointless if one or both persons walk away asking  “what did he/she mean by that?”

What can be done by both…

Keep Talking-it might be hard to get together because of work, school, etc. but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t be involved in each other’s lives. Keep each other accountable for bad habits or pet peeves toward one another. 

But most of all, be patient…especially if either one or both people isn’t used to being so open and honest. 

I realize that I sound like I have it all figured out, but I don’t. I only just started doing this, and it has mostly been with my Mom. It may sound like common sense, but it actually takes a lot of work and patience. 

I’ve heard of marriages crumbling because the couple didn’t know how to talk to each other and meet each other’s needs. There have been friendships in my life that have died because I didn’t immediately go to them and tell them how I felt about a situation; instead I let it sit and boil over, or I would talk someone else and eventually it would get back to that friend. I currently have friendships that don’t have a lot of life in them because I haven’t been talking to them, which for certain people is something that I used to be completely comfortable with doing. 

I may not be able to change the past, but I certainly don’t want this fear of mine to shape my future.

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