One of Those Conversations

Well it started out pleasantly, then at some point it turned.  I am not sure when.  I didn’t see it coming.  Or going….it could have well been my fault.  I didn’t mean for it to be.  It was supposed to be a pleasant, but truthful, conversation.  Helpful even.  He had asked for my opinion.  I gave it.  But before it was over, he was defensive and I was defensive and we just couldn’t get back on track to a good place.  It finally ended….with both of us frustrated and totally uncomfortable with each other.

I tried to make it better.  I wrote an email, trying to explain myself.  That didn’t work either.  I think it may have made it worse.  We’re basically at an impasse.  We don’t communicate well.

Don’t you hate those sorts of interactions?  You know your intent is good, you know your motives are good, but something happens in the communication with the other person and it just is all awry!   You suspect they have an impression of you that is incorrect, but don’t know what to do about it.  How can you change their mind?  Is it even possible?

I tend to obsess over such things.  I keep reviewing it all in my mind and wonder what I could have done to make it better.  After several days of doing this, I’m clueless.  I suspect we are just operate with different priorities and view the world with different eyes, and I am not sure that I understand how we can bridge that gap.  But I want to.  I know that he has to want to for it to happen, too.  I know I have no control over that, and that’s frustrating too.

Quite honestly I don’t like him very much at the moment. I know that is probably unfair.  I shouldn’t vilify him too quickly.  The truth is that I dislike that I can’t seem to figure out a way to make things better, so I blame him. I want to keep blaming him.  But communication is a two-way process.  I think perhaps some of the blame is mine.

I am blunt.  I speak my mind.  Sometimes it’s tough to be on the other end of that.  I always think that if I am right….if I speak truth and my motives are pure….people will get that.  But so many things get in the way of that message getting across.  Sometimes the emotions of people are raw.  Sometimes they are under pressure.  Sometimes they are tired or don’t feel well or just aren’t in a good mood.  Sometimes my words sound harsher in the air than they do in my mind.  Always people come to us with their own verbal history… a history that has given them a sensitivity to some words, to certain attitudes, to different delivery styles.  Sometimes there is a tone of our voice that rings a memory and no matter what we say, all they hear is that tone.  You know….the Charlie Brown’s teacher syndrome.  The words we say are not heard because all they hear is the droning.

I really want to run away from all of this.  It makes me very uncomfortable.  But this is a person I need to communicate with.  I need to forgive him for his part.  I need to forgive me for my part.  I need to try to find a way towards reconciliation and get on with it.

While part of me always wants to continue the “fight”, I think God expects something different of me.  A little humility….and humility is so difficult for me when I know I am right!!!!  I guess I have to concede that maybe I am not.  At least not 100% right.  And maybe it doesn’t matter whether I am or not.  Maybe I need to be a bit kinder.  Maybe I need to speak less.  Maybe I need to put myself in the place of another and realize that sometimes when someone asks for your opinion, they aren’t ready for it to come at them with both barrels.  Sometimes they need encouragement and a soft touch.  Even if that isn’t your natural inclination.

Maybe I need to remember to be grateful, too.  That most of my communications aren’t like this.  Some of that is due to you.  So thank you for that!  

1 Comment

  1. Dear friend, don't beat yourself up too much. If communication is a two way street then he also has some responsibility. If he's not willing to try and work it out then there is nothing left to save. He'd left long before this conversation.You are blunt, you are logical and you are strong in your position. Geez, I can't remember the number of times you've told me stuff I not only didn't want to hear but didn't even ask for. AND the number of times you took the sides of my kids or wife instead of mine and you are MY friend.But I always knew you loved me and my family. I knew your motives were pure and that you were sharing what you saw, felt, understood (even when you were wrong.) Never doubted the love.If it is a work person then YIKES! I've found that you NEVER tell work people the truth on personal stuff. Ever. It is just not worth it and very few people actually want the truth anyway. They want the truth that matches what they want to hear or believe not what the other person can actually see and hear.If it is not work (and I define work to include non-paying work like volunteer stuff) then you need to reexamine your relationship with this person. Sometimes they are worth the effort and sometimes not. Sometimes they need people to stand up and not put up with their drama bull and be willing to walk away. Sounds like you've done enough. Walk away and let them decide on the next move. If they are willing to invest in the relationship and communication then NOTHING you do will matter.Love to you!


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