Over the last few years, one thing I have seen consistently wreck relationships has been a lack of communication. There are so many different reasons we choose to bottle our feelings and not tell others what we are thinking. Sometimes it’s just flat out pride! Sometimes we are embarrassed that the other party might not agree with our viewpoint. Other times we are afraid of rejection and hurt, if the other person turns away from us based on what has been spoken. So often we just don’t like to create chaos, drama or confrontation, so it can appear so much easier to just hold our tongue and move on. But are we really moving on? Usually not! In fact, more often than not, and whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, stuffing our feelings and opinions about things only leads to frustration, anger and resentment down the road, especially if it’s a common practice.
Learning to speak our mind and heart is a skill that often feels uncomfortable when we first begin practicing it, but with time I learned it was the most freeing exercise I have ever experienced, and I wish I had learned the skill much earlier in life! There is just something about truthfully communicating in a deep and meaningful way with others that allows our souls to soar! Freely speaking keeps a very short account of wrongs, as if you immediately discuss things that bother you, they are dealt with right away and not able to fester and create a much more difficult and damaging circumstance. My rule of thumb is the moment something bothers me, I address it. I rarely let the sun go down on my anger and go to bed with unresolved issues. Once in while there may be a circumstance out of my control that doesn’t provide me an immediate opportunity to address it, but that’s usually not the case.
Don’t mistake what I am suggesting as blasting or totally going off on someone when they have upset or bothered you! There’s nothing further from the truth! What I am suggesting is being able to articulate at all times how you feel about any given circumstance, good, bad, or indifferent! Often by simply talking about those things we may not be 100% ok with, we are able to resolve the issues keeping us conflicted to a point of releasing them and not longer being bound by their power. This can be true in a work environment, in a romantic relationship, or with friends and family members! Learning to speak our mind allows us to take responsibility for our feelings, deal with them, resolve them and move on. It truly helps us to let go.
It’s important to point out that just because we freely share our opinions does not mean they will not always be joyfully accepted by those on the receiving end, and THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! Our responsibility is to share our hearts, how we feel about things, IN LOVE! We cannot take responsibility for how the other person either receives that information or chooses to process and act upon it, if at all. They are always going to be at a different place in their journey than we are, therefore we have to trust that our responsibility ends with speaking truth in love. It’s is God’s job to do the rest!
Take care to always explain how situations make you feel, rather than coming from a place of judgment or accusation, as coming from a negative place never gets us anywhere! It took me many years to learn to overcome my fears and actually say what I thought, to be myself and speak my mind, no matter what the reception on the other end. I am cautious to never sugar coat a turd, yet also never beat someone over the head with my proverbial 2 by 4. There is a fine line here that can be easily crossed if you are not consciously aware of your words and how they are coming across. I have found the easiest way to do this is by pulling the emotion out of the equation, whenever possible. Stating your perspective and how something made you feel is not up for argument. Though someone might not agree with how you perceived a situation, they cannot deny how it might have made you feel, whether right or wrong. You feel what you feel, PERIOD. Sometimes just helping others to understand what we feel about a given situation can help turn it completely around.
At the end of the day, even if the other person does not agree with your thoughts on the topic, I can almost guarantee you that you will feel better having gotten it off your chest! One quick aside, make sure you stop with communicating how you feel and don’t move into the common mistake of trying to convince others they should feel the same way! That’s not honoring their perceptions and individuality.
Say what needs to be said and give others the grace to understand your plight, but still disagree if they must. Learning to agree to disagree is one skill that you will do well to adopt early on in life! The sooner the better, as a matter of fact! It’s not only freeing for them, but for you as well!Say what you mean, mean what you say, speak your mind in love, and allow others the freedom to acknowledge what you are saying, while still having your respect in their right to disagree. It’s absolutely amazing to see the anger and frustration melt away when this is happens and it leads to much healthier, happier relationships across the board!
Love and Light,
Laura Corby :)