It was a loved one and we weren't communicating effectively. We both could have done better. We were both contributing to the mess. So, I've spent some quality time this afternoon considering the conversation and how or what, if anything, to do.
Here are some of my truths:
- It takes two to fight; if there's a fight, you're in it. This goes for bad conversations, email exchanges, texts gone awry, etc.
- You are in charge of your own feelings. You get to decide how or even if something said by someone else affects you.
- When you value the other persons opinions #2 is way harder to remember.
- More often that not, the other person is wearing an invisible sign that says "Make me feel important" and so are you.
- Understanding what motivates others will change your view of the world immeasurably.
Whenever I'm in disagreement with another, I just want them to hear what I'm saying. I'm not asking them to agree with or even to like it, just hear me and understand why I did what I did. I realize what a lot I am asking of the other person, but it's what I want.
Why understanding? Understanding diffuses conflict. Understanding grows your soul. Understanding is freedom and power. My definition of understanding doesn't have implicit agreement, but I think other people consider agreement to be understanding.
I'm a talker. I know that talking about things clears the air and helps everyone to move forward. Not everyone is a talker and oh my golly it is a crapshoot as to what to do with a non-talker. Throw in the unpredictability of human nature and you rarely get the expected results - talker or non-talker. Asking a ticked person to hear you is like throwing gasoline on the fire. But it's what I want.
Very often I'm good with "I'm sorry", shake hands and move along. Which is where we are at today. But, for me, I would still like a little talking and a little understanding. Since I don't feel as though understanding me makes me right and you wrong, I can't see the problem. For the people who think understanding implies agreement and then extrapolate that makes them wrong I can see why they wouldn't want to listen. Who wants to be wrong?
So I just want to say to everyone else in the world: Is someone asking you to talk about a conflict? It's not always about being right or being wrong. It really isn't. Sometimes it's about being human and allowing other people to be human, too. Sometimes it's about loving someone else enough to do the thing they need. Not everything involves a winner and a loser. It really doesn't. Sometimes talking about a problem is just talking about it. AND AFTER EVERYONE WALKS AWAY LIGHTER, HAPPIER and FREER.
Okay, since I'm not going to get my conversation or understanding, I'm going to put aside my needs and love my loved one, just the same. Dang.