The secret to any good relationship is being able to communicate successfully. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt like you were fighting all the time? Well, fighting and arguing isn’t what kills a relationship! What kills a relationship is when you decide to go into silent mode. As long as you still feel it is worth the effort to say what you think, or disagree with what someone else thinks, your relationship maintains the potential for good. But, if the relationship deteriorates to the point where “it just ain’t worth it” or you no longer care to say what bothers you, then the relationship is on the slippery slope downward and destined to end badly.
All of us want to have sweet, meaningful relationships with other people. When our relationships are mostly sweet, life becomes a joy. So, how can you have a “sweet” relationship with another person? Well, you have to take the time to handle the issues that threaten it. Let’s say you get home from work feeling pretty good and you are met with a bad mood from your partner. You recognize that they are in a funky mood and now your good mood is being threatened. Instead of getting mad or matching mood for mood, why not take the time to find out what is wrong with ’em? That’s called having a conversation. Now, lets say every time you come home in a good mood your partner is in a bad mood. Well, that’s another conversation. It bothers you, right? So, why in the world would you spend your days with things bothering you when you can talk it over and get it straight? If you do it well, you can do better than straight and get to sweet.
The problem with most people is that they do not take the time to get the “air” cleared. And worse, they let stuff go day after day, quietly seething and thinking evil of the other person. The best time to talk about things is as the things are happening. Right now, in the moment, say what you are thinking. Say what you like. Say what you don’t like. Say it, say it, say it! You’re not looking for a fight, you are looking for the sweet. If you delude yourself and say things like, “I don’t want the drama!” – you are setting yourself up for the big volcanic eruption. How could it not turn out that way? Have you ever heard people say, “I just need to get some things off my chest?” The reason they have to get them off their chest is because they cannot remain “on their chest” for them to be okay. If you bottle things up, hold things in, stop talking, and let things go that you shouldn’t let go – you are going to blow! When you blow you are going to bring up 300 issues that you have been saving and you will bring them up in a way that is all out of proportion to the incident! In short, you will sound like a crazy person; a stark, raving looney tunes person! Chances are your anger is going to result in saying a whole bunch of things you really didn’t want to say. Then, despite your heart-felt petitions towards the other person, your words are going to cut them like a knife. Slice and dice – and there’s no coming back from that.
So what should you do instead? Get into the habit of saying what you think. Emerson said, “I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways….” Get it? Upright and vital means stand up and wake up! But remember your goal is sweetness, not victory over the other person. You can win an argument, but lose your relationship. You can browbeat your partner, but find them getting the final say on the way out the door. It kills me when people say awful, dreadful things and then justify it by saying, “I’m just being honest!” That’s not honest. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to say every silly thing that runs across your mind. Just because you thought it, doesn’t make it valid. Don’t let anger have its way. Anger always follows another emotion anyway, so why not be “honest” and speak up when you were experiencing the other emotions (sadness, fear, frustration, guilt etc.). It seems to all boil down to having some healthy self-respect. In other words, respecting yourself enough to acknowledge that your feelings are just as important as other people’s feelings, not less important. Your likes and dislikes are just as valid as someone else’s likes and dislikes. Again I am reminded of Ralph Dubya (RWE) –
“I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints.”
That my friends, is honest. There is nothing wrong with “going with the flow” or being “yielding on insignificant matters.” That’s how we all manage to get along. But on those matters of the heart; those things that are important to you – you gotta speak up! People that really love you aren’t going to stop loving you because you spoke up about some issue. If you can’t speak up about anything to them, you need to re-evaluate that relationship. You may surprise yourself and find out something you didn’t know before. You might even actually learn that you had it all wrong and that the other person wasn’t thinking what you thought at all… (haha)
At the end of the day, life goes by way too fast for drama and hurt feelings. Your life is worth it!
Those are just some good thoughts…