Have you ever had a conflict with a friend or lover that at first glance seems so severe, and then when you actually share your thoughts, you both realize that it was just a simple miscommunication? You think a coworker is upset with you because they didn’t say “good morning”, or you think your spouse’s moodiness has something to do with you, when really in either case, it could just be that something else is on their mind and it has nothing to do with you…
Often, when we feel slighted we go off in a corner, feeling sorry for ourselves, not understanding what “we did wrong” instead of simply asking the person if everything is okay and if there is anything you can do for them. From my own experience, it’s funny how often I’ve made someone else’s mood about me, when in fact, their mood had absolutely nothing to do with anything I’ve said or done… I’ve learned that assuming that I know why someone is behaving the way they do can turn a bad mood because of bad traffic, into days or weeks of tiptoeing and uneasiness, which could have been avoided by simply asking if everything is okay. I’m not suggesting being nosey, or pushing if someone doesn’t want to talk, but give them the option. You can’t force communication, but you can offer a safe, non judgemental ear for someone you care about.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been guilty of not always being honest when I’ve personally been asked if “everything is okay”. I have, however, learned the hard way that not expressing my feelings just leads to more anger, resentment, sadness or whatever negative emotion is blocking my flow. I am working on being a better communicator and asking more questions rather than assuming I know why someone is behaving the way they are.
My desire is for open and honest communication with everyone in my life and if I want that from others I’ve got to be willing to do the same. I’ve also done some work on releasing expectations, but I’ll save that one for another post. ♥
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