There seems to be a common trend in most troublesome situations. Wherever problems occur 9 times out of 10 you can usually sum it up by saying “boy, that could have worked out differently if they’d have just talked about it”. I tend to be a bit of a mediator. At work, at home, and in life in general. Whenever a problem exists I always try to take a neutral stance, give my honest perspective, and encourage or guide communication so that a happy ending can be reached. For me communication is the only way to truly let people know how you feel, give them the opportunity to do the same, and to bridge gaps and create healthy relationships with others. It seems to happen occasionally though that in trying to have a conversation with someone they may jump to a conclusion or overreact only to sever the communication and create a problem where one didn’t exist.
This week my thoughts have been circling around this commonly experienced, though apparently not frequently discussed topic. So here’s my take from what I’ve learned:
Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important for both participants in a conversation to remember that no one is a saint. At the end of the day we are all only responsible for our own actions and reactions. We can’t force our thoughts, feelings or perspectives on others. Even when facing the same thing everyone has a different point of view of it. It is exactly the same in life. So naturally everyone will have a different perspective on things – even on a common subject. This is also true in how you yourself are seen. Despite how you may know yourself to be, plenty of people will come to know you as something totally different – some good and some bad – maybe because they haven’t taken the time to fully know and understand you, or perhaps because you haven’t taken the time to understand yourself. But if you are lead by the truth and for the good of things then you will better know the world and the world will better know you. You don’t have to live someone else’s truth – just your own. Make no excuses for the way you are but be an honest you. Only then can people truly understand you (at least the ones who want to). And the ones who don’t are probably not worth your time anyway.
Life doesn’t have to have so many blurred lines of communication. Being open about ourselves and accepting of our differences is key to letting people in and allowing people to truly understand you. Understanding and accepting each other and our differences is the only way to coexist. Coexisting requires understanding and understanding usually requires communication. Communication gives us the platform to be open and honest with one another and deepen our relationships. When disagreements, differences or any matters of significance arise, conversation is a beautiful thing because it shows trust, confidence and faith – Trust to approach a discussion with someone in the first place; Confidence in the ability to talk about something with that person; And Faith that a positive outcome is attainable. Never forsake the person who tries to have a conversation with you or you ultimately are destroying those three qualities they thought existed in your relationship. Most importantly you destroy their faith in you, their understanding of you, and who they believed you to be. Conversation gives people the opportunity to grow, to strengthen a bond, to heal or mend a tear and start anew.
You can tell a lot about a person by how they react to things. If you jump to conclusions right away or put your own spin on what you hear, you are only creating a disconnect in the end where there once was love and faith. In disagreements even if you disagree on many of the details, hearing someone out and then agreeing to disagree is still better than abandoning your love for that person for argument’s sake and ignoring what they are saying to you. There’s a saying that “If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn’t there”. This is so true.
So the best advice I can give on this topic is simply this: Communicate. And in conversation be a listener with an open mind and a contributor with an open heart. Have faith in those that clearly have confidence in you.