You don’t like most people.
I know this because we’ve most likely crossed paths in life and I don’t like most people and the law of attraction states that if you’ve met me you’re similar to me and therefore you don’t like most people. So, by scientific fact, even if we haven’t physically crossed paths, the electricity that flows from my computer seduced your computer to read these words and we’ve electronically crossed paths and this logic still applies to you. #science
Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in most people – their story, what makes them tick, their aspirations in life, how they face their fears, who has let them down the most in life, when they found their passion and what it is, etc. — but I don’t like most people.
People are insecure and rude and don’t stand up for the little guy and don’t say what they mean and say what they mean behind your back and expect you to read between the lines and don’t respond when you try to care and use each other under the guise of caring and are callous and cold for no reason and have fragile egos and are manipulative and crazy and self-centered and narcissists and selfish and the list goes on…
Yes. I sound jaded. Yes. I mean (sorta, not really) all of this. However, pointing out human frailty is not the point of this blog. The point of today’s post is to discuss “Crucial Conversations” and how to make yourself have them. Now, I’ve never read the book. I just like the title and the subject matter applies to what’s been buggin’ me lately, so therefore I’m blindly plugging it.
Why do we find it so hard to say aloud what’s got us mad? Why is it difficult to verbalize what’s boilin’ our grits? Why can’t we just naturally bring up that someone is a giant terd monster as casually as we discuss our weekend plans? Why can’t we just tell someone YOU’RE A WASTE OF EXISTENCE and get that emotional gremlin off of our only chest*?
*If we had 2-4 chests, I’d most likely reconsider this post’s advice, but alas we do not. Hence the importance of today’s line of thought.
When talking to a friend at a heightened level one day they shouted, “how was I supposed to know that’s how you were feeling?! If you felt that way you should’ve told me and not made up your mind about how you felt towards me from a conversation you had with me — in your head!” After finally coming to terms with the fact that this person was a complete idiot and slow and an idiot and conveniently aloof — and did I mention idiot? –, I sat down and stewed and realized that they weren’t totally wrong. Why didn’t I go to the person and say how I felt? Why did I hold my tongue on discussing my issues with this person but find it oh so easy to discuss it with literally anyone else with a mouth and brain?
Try as we might, we can never truly predict how a person will react to what we’ve got to say. While at the heart of it we’re trying to avoid conflict, the very act of delaying the conversation is all but ensuring heightened issues and disagreements at a later date. It’s crazy to realize that we avoid these conversations for fear of the other person’s reaction, but the longer we suppress what we have to say, the more resentment builds and we all but have a self-fulfilling prophecy of the negative perception we have of the person.
I realized my writer brain was getting me in trouble. Not only with this person but many others. I was avoiding conflict not because it made me uncomfortable (ha, lies) but because I thought it was unnecessary and a waste of time when “I know exactly what they’re gonna say.” Ugh other people have identified she’s a betch, why do I need to tell her? Yes, I’m a fellow black woman, but why should I have to tell her her weave looks crazy? Of course we’re aware of our overt tension, but why should I address the issue if they’re not gonna say anything? Obviously I want to jump your bones, but why should I have to tell you the signals you’re sending are confusing af, especially when we (read: you) decided we’d just be friends? I’d have all of these questions and answer them so vividly in my head with an entire theatrical production complete with song and dance that by the time I next saw the person I avoided eye contact because of how offended they made me from my imagination conversation.
To say this was a jarring realization is an understatement. I’m an inherent people person. To come to terms that I wasn’t relating to people as well as I thought and to understand that I have to take a bigger responsibility for my failing relationships with people who pretended to be normal but eventually always reveal their crazy is an understatement.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I AM PART OF THE CRAZY PEOPLE’S PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (&& so are you. Remember? Science?)
A person cannot change if they are not aware. As introspective as I am, I can’t always ID my flaws so I take and sometimes work on the feedback I get. If it weren’t for that friend I might still bite my tongue when people negatively affect my emotions. It’s important to remember just because something is obvious to you and you can smell the trash emanating from the person’s pores, you cannot assume they know they’re a garbage person. Be that person to let them know. If they can’t take your feelings into consideration then walk away from the landfill that is their soul. However, it’s refreshing to know that maybe, just maybe, with your help you can be the head of park clean-up for their lives by initiating the conversation.
I’ve taken my own medicine and been more vocal to people who — suck. And it’s hard. And scary. And daunting. And uncomfortable. But, the relief you feel from just expressing and not suppressing your feelings and not holding grudges will be levels above the sunken emotional place you might usually find yourself in.
I have faith in you, I have faith in us, that we can vanquish miscommunication and hurt emotions one awkward conversation at a time. If we don’t help garbage people evolve into high class recycled goods, they’ll meet another garbage person and make more garbage people!
Let’s STOP the madness.