Mean What you Say!
Your actions are how you really feel, your words are the smoke screen that masks those feelings.
It seems simple really to say what you mean but people rarely do so and when it comes to honest communication I think many of us are afraid to voice our real thoughts. Some hold back because they don’t want to hurt the other and some hold back because they lack the courage to tackle the conflict ahead.
The only way to truly get to the bottom of any communication snag is open and honest communication and while it may feel difficult to find the right words I believe that as long as your communication comes from a sincere and compassionate place there isn’t anything that can’t be resolved.
Resolution means that an understanding has been reached not necessarily that a relationship goes back to its previous state. When resolution is required it is because somewhere along the lines something occurred to change the dynamics of the relationship, not all changes are good and not all changes are bad but it is these such changes that could have permanence in how the relationship works.
Sugar coating the words to ease tension isn’t any kind of good solution, everyone inherently knows when they are in the wrong in any given situation and pretending like it’s ok and/or sweeping it under the rug creates two problems.
- It sends the message that the behaviour is acceptable and “please continue, I do not have healthy boundaries”.
- Conversely it may send the message that they aren’t important enough in your life for you to be honest.
If you’re not saying anything to avoid hurting someone than this action is counterproductive to your efforts because you are hurting them anyway. Not every advice or constructive criticism is easy but if you really want to see the best occur for others than those not so comfortable conversations sometimes need to take place.
Regardless of your own reasons for not saying what you mean or meaning what you say, it does more damage than good when you hide your true feelings and everyone involved is already aware of the elephant in the room, the words just haven’t been vocalized.
All of us handle conflict and change differently, some better than others and some not but conflict is a necessary part of life and without it we wouldn’t learn how to properly transition ourselves through adversity but hopefully we learn to do so with a little bit of grace.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty in this area of life and I think that’s mostly because I’m not sure I can articulate something clearly enough, that it may be misunderstood and defensiveness or anger can result and because I feel my words may be too honest and/or harsh.
The very real issue with holding back is that it creates distance in the relationship and with time that distance grows until the connection is no longer there and what do you do then? I guess that depends on the foundation and stability of a relationship from the beginning, what the common thread was that held it all together. If that thread is based on something strong and whole like respect, honesty and integrity than relationships can survive the challenges but if the foundation is weak and solely supported by only one that is actively nurturing it than it is very likely to crumble.
One of the most damaging things that can occur in relationships is saying something that you don’t mean out of anger. Our words can be just as damaging as our actions, if not more, the phrase “think before you speak” is the most important mantra you could ever instill in your mind because once the stone is thrown you can never take it back. If you feel you are in a mind space that you know is affecting you negatively then it is not the best time to have any kind of discussions that require you to have an open mind or heart. There’s a huge difference between loving and honest communication and spewing nasty words out of spite.
The foundation of all relationships is trust, trust that you can allow others to see your vulnerable side and trust that they won’t use it against you.
It takes years to build trust with others and only moments to destroy it!
Don’t be that person! Build trust and value it, communicate honestly and mean it, actively nurture your coveted relationships and appreciate what you’ve been blessed with so far.