There was a time in my life where these four words could make me drop off the grid. I do not like confrontation, especially surprise attacks. I have gotten better over the years thanks to personal growth but like most people I still don’t like it.
Although these uncomfortable situations still make me mentally squirm I how important communication is to successful relationships. You have to talk about things, especially issues. This year I have had three different opportunities for practice. Two were successful, however uncomfortable at the beginning, verdict is still out on the third. One of the two successful conversations completely changed the dynamics of a relationship that was in serious trouble. As far as that third one, the other party was not receptive and shut down immediately. We have talked and seen each other since the attempt at the conversation and I am getting the verbal message that everything is OK but I know better. Ultimately I cannot force this person to talk about it if they do not want to and I accept that. I also feel that time will heal the problem so in the interim all I can do is continue to nurture the relationship and be patient.
Of course I am happier during time of homeostasis, however with every uncomfortable “talk” that comes up over the course of relationships I am becoming more confident. I am no longer afraid of these talks with friends, family etc if they are needed. I like to be prepared when possible so I have time to think about how I feel as well as what the other person might be thinking, feeling. Even when caught off guard I am more comfortable with my reaction and how I have been able to handle the situation.
My biggest concern is the same as it has always been and that is the other person’s feelings. I have learned to balance that concern with being honest about my own feelings as well.