Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting Clarity

When you have a disagreement with someone you care about, what do you do? Do you blather everything you want to say and share everything you feel, no matter how hurtful or harmful it may be? Do you listen quietly to the other person, or are you formulating what you want to say as they are speaking?

Good, clear, communication is crucial in any interaction, but it is especially crucial with those we love. Because harmful, hurtful words never leave us. Each time one is hurled (either our way or by us at someone else) it erodes a little bit of the love. If such things continue, at some point, there is no going back. It cannot be salvaged.

So what can we do to avoid such damage? I've trained myself to calm my internal emotions down when someone is saying things I don't want to hear. I must do this in order to listen. If I don't understand what the other person means, or I am making assumptions about what they are saying, I ask questions to get clarity.

Once we are both clear about how the other feels, we can then begin to work our way through the issue. This is the hard part, because I've learned I must speak my truth, and sometimes that means the other person will be hurt - not by my words, but because of what I feel I must do. But for me, the consequences of not listening to my own heart and soul are much more devastating than the consequences of not speaking my truth when disagreements arise.

How about you?


Mary said...

Sometimes you may both be clear on the problem and each others feelings but the situation will not or cannot be changed. There are times when the best solution is separation with no communication. Those are usually very sad times but it the end they are best for everyone.
I try not to hurt but there are times when no matter what the hurt will be there for both to share.
Giggles and Gunsx

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The older I become, the better I am at holding back ugly words. I pause a moment and really think what I am about to say. And then I usually reword it!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

That's very patient of you to make sure you have understood clearly. I, for one, certainly let myself get out of control when I get hurt. Not by taking it out on the other person, but by letting the tension and anger and disappointment build up inside until the only way to let it all out is through one huge tantrum, that is more often than not, triggered by something harmless. And THAT'S where writing comes in :o) It prevents that from happening, and then once I've let one of my characters have the tantrum, I can then go and discuss my issues like an adult. I suppose we all have our ways ...

Seen your name quite often round the blogosphere and thought I'd check you out. Great post! I'm hooked :o)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I’m pretty easy going or maybe just thick-skinned. If someone is saying something I don’t want to hear, I’d probably try to make a joke out of it and change the subject.

Helen Ginger said...

You should teach classes. I haven't mastered that yet. I automatically put up a wall. Your way is, of course, much better. Luckily, I don't get into those kinds of situations very often.

Vicki Rocho said...

I need to hear that again.

and again.

and again.

I agree, I'm just not so good on the following-through department!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't feel the need to be so honest that I express all of my feelings all of the time. If the only benefit in an exchange is to dump my feelings, then it might be more healthy for me to dump them right on out of my mind with a little meditation. For me, few unpleasant situations deserve confrontation. I like to save my energy for the ones that do. :)

Anonymous said...

I like to "seek first to understand, then to be understood."


Tabitha Bird said...

I like the comment about mine. I think that is true. I also try to take some time to chill before I 'speak my truth. But I agree. I must speak my truth. I cannot have a friendship with someone who cannot at least hear me, even if they do not agree. I have one such friendship that may indeed end over just such a thing.

Ann Best said...

I've grown calmer as I've aged - finally.

I also am aware sometimes that, yes, I'm thinking what I want to say and not listening as attentively as I should!

And thanks for commenting on my post today.