Recently I was an observer of a few individuals dealing with extreme stress in their family lives. These situations were stimulated and caused by things others did to them that they thought inappropriate.
Instead of realizing that there was not much they could do about the situation, they continued to dwell on them and became deeper and deeper into that pit of feeling sorry for themselves. Whether they were right or not is not the challenge. Instead of judging and blaming or even playing the “I’m right- you’re wrong” game, no conversation we could have together would satisfy that overwhelming sense of proving someone wrong.
“How hard is it for you to let go of things you can’t control? What would our day look like if we concentrated on what we could control?”
This is why communication is so important. What we hear is not necessarily what was meant. And how we interpret things is also different for everyone. A couple of points I’d like to make; First, just because we believe in something and how it should be done, doesn’t mean it’s right or that it’s right for everyone else. Second, it’s important to understand where the other person is coming from. A common situation these days is in the world of emails and how CAPS can be interpreted as screaming when in fact, someone could just be lazy with their typing skills. How many difficult situations do we put in an email instead of picking up the phone and talking about the challenge or points to consider? Have we in fact, become a society afraid of any conflict?
And third, if you anticipate dealing with a difficult conversation, consider having a third party who can be a mediator or at least a good listener so that both parties have another listening ear.
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