Thursday, January 6, 2011

the dance of communication

"...Think about it. ... you're holding off [on discussing something that bothers you]. By turning even mildly negative feedback into an interpretive dance of "huge offense" and tearful hyperbole, [you] stifle dissent. [They] will be indulged, or you will be punished. It's a powerful weapon." Carolyn Hax
I saw this in an advice column and it weighed heavily on me. They're talking about the dynamic where you approach your partner with an issue and they explode. And you know, no one wants that and so you back off. Then what? The issue ends up not being discussed. It gets relegated to the "We Will Not Talk About This" table. No one wins.

This is why it's so important to express yourself. This is why it needs to be okay to voice how you feel. And I didn't do it enough.

But I'm learning how to do it now.


  1. I never do it enough, either. Don't beat yourself up over it.

  2. Communication is one of the toughest things. I try to keep in mind that I'm not always the perfect communicator, and remind myself that no one else is either. I think a big key is to be able to see it in yourself when you've exploded. I did that to a friend the other day, just completely lost it. I stormed out, took a ten minute walk, came back, apologized profusely for my rudeness, and we moved on to deal with the issue at hand.

    The point is, effective communication requires two people. Yes, it's important to express yourself, and you should be able to do so, but don't automatically accept all the blame if the other person isn't willing to do so as well.

  3. That's how my most recent ex and I broke up. I thought we could have a conversation. Apparently, I handed him a locked and loaded gun. He simply used it as a segue to pull the trigger.

    I'm a latecomer to your blog, but I love it. Reading it backward. :)