Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Difficult Conversations

Series: From My Perspective | Story 15

Last updated 5/19/2021 at 11:19am

Sometimes, circumstances, differing opinions, actions from others and even our own actions, call for conversations in order to clear the air, make things better, and convey our thoughts. Sometimes we have those conversations with ease. Other times, those conversations can be difficult… very difficult.

I feel like this past year there have been a lot of difficult conversations, mostly because there have been a lot of difficult circumstances, serious differing opinions, and a divide in our nation and our beliefs in proportions I could never have imagined.

I am not a person who likes confrontation and, as I’ve stated in the past, will usually do anything to avoid it. It makes me uncomfortable. You know, the sick-to-your-stomach kind of uncomfortable, yeah, that kind. But, when it comes to something or someone important to me, I have to put that uncomfortable, sick feeling aside and handle it. I have to have that difficult conversation.

In general, I try to be very conscious of other’s feelings, which is probably why these conversations are so hard for me. Lately, I’ve noticed these conversations getting a little easier to have. Why? Because rather than worrying so much about how the other person is going to respond or feel, I’ve come to realize that my feelings and my well-being are just as important as others. I’ve come to realize all of that mulling things over in my mind makes me extremely anxious. I lose sleep. I don’t eat. For lack of a better way to say it, I let it, let them and their actions, “get to me.”

I’m not sure if it’s me getting older, finally maturing or finally realizing that I am important too that has made it easier, or whether it’s been simply seeing some strong people in my life have these conversations that inspired me to take care of what needs taking care of and not let things eat at me. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things, but I’m nonetheless grateful that I’ve begun to honor myself and my feelings, as well as others.

This past week I had to have one of those difficult conversations. Usually when faced with something like this, I mull it over for a few days. I play all the scenarios in my head, have conversation after conversation in my own mind and ask myself what I would say to any number of responses from the other person. This time, because it was someone and something so important to me - so close to my heart - that had caused a hurt that made me want to cry and an anger I didn’t want to get out of control, I had to act more quickly. I didn’t have a few days. Truthfully, I had less than a few hours.

I had to explain to someone that their actions, or maybe in this case it was their lack of action, really hurt me. I had to let them know that what they were doing was not only hurting them, but everyone around them, especially those closest to them. Their lack of action caused a lot of stress, sadness and anger towards them. I had to convey that the reason I was so angry and so hurt was because they are like family and so very important to me. We had to have this conversation to hopefully make things bette,r for them and for me. I’d like to think it did. The handwritten note from them thanking me for my frankness, my candidness and concern, leads me to believe this was a productive difficult conversation to have had.

Just because I have to have those conversations doesn’t mean I disregard the other individual’s feelings or opinions. I, and you, can have those difficult conversations with feelings and respect. Difficult doesn’t mean having to be mean. It means having to be honest with the other person about the situations, and with ourselves. Other times, other people have to have those same difficult conversations with us, because we did or didn’t do something that was important to them.

I think it’s easy to get defensive when we’re the person being confronted with these types of conversations. We're human and that’s generally what we do. But if we can regard the other person with having the need to have such a conversation with us, and if we truly listen to what is being said without getting defensive or trying to come up with a response as to why we did or didn’t do or say something that hurt them enough that they have to have this conversation with us, we can all be the better for it.

Things are tough in the world right now. Maybe they won’t always be, but if we can all show one another a little grace and a little compassion when we have to have conversations that seem- or are-difficult, while honoring others and ourselves in the process, we might be able to make us and our world not such a tough place to be.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023