Saturday, July 26, 2008

Communication is key to healthy relationships.

Communication is key to healthy relationships.

However, one of the hardest things for me to do is to tell somebody
something when I feel like they are not going to like it, or it is
going to hurt them.

So, when I have had these times when something was important, but I
was afraid it would hurt somebody or they wouldn't like it, then I
wouldn't say it.

I need to learn how to do that, because it's important to communicate.
And not saying it is (by definition) not communicating. Or, more
likely, it is communicating something to them, but you are clueless to
know what you said.

This is probably another right-brain thing. You are communicating
some emotional content without a corresponding logical content to
reinforce the value, or minimize the damage, the wordless
communication causes.

Suppose you accidentally ran over the cat and reverently buried the
remains in an out of the way place.

You don't want to tell someone who loved the cat, "Not only is Kitty
dead, but I was the perpetrator of the demise!" It is bad news that
the cat is dead. It is terrible news that you killed the cat!

You can bury the truth like you buried the cat, and just not mention
the issue. You don't hurt the person, and you don't receive the wrath
for doing the evil deed.

In a few days, you can help make signs to post in the neighborhood, or
you can 'fess up. Confessing not only gets a magnified form of the
first confrontation you were trying to avoid, it also gets the
additional wrath related to why you would do such a thing and hide it!

You can keep putting "lost kitty" signs up, raising the reward,
calling all the neighbors, etc., and you still avoid the anger, hurt,
and resentment. But you build a wall, making it ever harder to get
that communication channel opened in the future. And you bear the
emotional damage that comes with the supression of your own feelings,
i.e., the guilt.

And the spiral continues to go on, and on, and on.

At some point, the relationship may suffer so much that it gets
sacrificed, along with the cat and the truth.

How would you handle the situation?

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