A few months ago when I was feeling kind of lonely and sorry for myself I started whining about how I don’t hear from people anymore. I really laid it on thick how sad it was that nobody cared enough to check up on me or ask how I was doing … blah blah blah. Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t checking up on them or asking how they were doing either.
When I decided to make Effort my word for 2020 it became very clear that I needed to Make the Effort in my relationships. I needed to connect more with people and less with screens. I needed to make the time and take the action to actually have REAL conversations and find out what’s going on in their lives.
If you do, here’s a few things to remember …
Honesty is key
If you haven’t talked to someone in a while, be honest about why. Is there some sort of misunderstanding that needs to be worked out? Have you spent your time and energy on other things? Are you going through a hard time and just didn’t have the mental energy to hear about someone else’s problems?
Tell them what’s really going on, why you haven’t been in touch. Then promise them and yourself that you will Make the Effort to do better from now on.
There have been so many conversations I’ve had with people who are important to me where my disagreeing viewpoint didn’t really matter in the long run. The relationship meant more to me, but I let my stubbornness and need to be right cloud what really mattered. I should have compromised.
Communication is vital
None of us can read minds. If we could, we’d all be millionaires with bestselling novels about the meaning of life. We aren’t. So all we know about what someone else is thinking is what they tell us and the same is true for them. Then why do we dance around what we really want and mean?
For a lot of reasons.
We’re afraid of what their responses will be. We don’t want to hurt their feelings. We don’t want to start any kind of fight or confrontation. It’s just easier to leave things the way they are (in the short term).
But miscommunication doesn’t make anything any easier. In fact, in adds a whole other layer of complicated to our lives. Wouldn’t it be easier to get all the answers out in the open instead of guessing and reacting and re-guessing and re-reacting (probably not a word … don’t care)?
This year I’m going to Make the Effort in the relationships with my family (particularly my kids), my friends, and myself.
What relationships of yours could use a little more Effort?
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