Just thinking … I actually do that a lot. Do you?? I’m a thinker, a problem solver, a fixer. While it can be a great attribute, it’s also frustrating. It’s one of my many character flaws that I am both aware of and working to manage.
So, here’s my latest lesson that I learned as a result of all my thinking….
Don’t put off difficult conversations.
When you avoid having a critical conversation (maybe something difficult or uncomfortable) your mind doesn’t stop processing. While dodging the issue may give you time to separate your emotions from the facts, it also results in more and more compiling of thoughts. In my house we call it, “building a case.” Building a case is usually never a good thing.
When you have strong unresolved feelings about a thought or situation, it seems like every circumstance and emotion possible appears to confirm and provide more evidence to feed your feelings. The longer this goes unchecked the more dangerous it becomes.
When we continue to deny addressing an issue, we can end up critical, negative and defensive. And here is where the true consequence comes into play: that rehearsed conversation may finally happen! But it will happen at an inopportune time, an unplanned eruption that spills out. And while it’s all you wanted to say, and it is how you truly feel, after denying the conversation for so long, the outburst is rooted in emotion and projected with emotion, and the delivery may cause you to feel like you said too much.
Been there. Done that, and not just once.
Actually, over my years, I have been on both sides of this situation. I have delivered the exaggerated blow to an unsuspecting friend and have also been naively blindsided by the straw that broke the camel’s back. Neither place is very effective.
The lesson? Don’t wait.
Have those tough conversations. Think and pray about how you feel, evaluate your emotions, seek the truth, walk in love…but if there is an issue of merit that keeps you up at night, address it. The elephant in the room is much more manageable when it is acknowledged!
Whether it’s in family, in the workplace, in relationships — walking in love also means walking in the truth. Whether you are motivated by loyalty, peace, power or progress, the best step towards the change you want to see is usually a direct one. Be gracious, but be brave.