Friday, August 31, 2012

#BlogElul 13: Breaking through my excuses

When I've had a difficult interaction with someone, what are the kinds of excuses I come up with to avoid dealing with the unfinished business?

  • They need time to cool off before we can have a fruitful conversation.
  • I need time to cool off before we can have a fruitful conversation.
  • This always happens when we try and have this conversation - I should just avoid further conversation.
  • I don't know exactly how this will end, and if I can't predict how the conversation will go, maybe I shouldn't go there.
  • I've overthought where this conversation will go, and I don't want to go there.  So my imaginary outcome to this next exchange is stopping me from having the conversation.

Perhaps you have further excuses you can add to this list.  These are some of mine.  In areas of my life where I'm not always proud of my words or actions, I look to those that I can learn from, inspired by their example.  When it comes to getting beyond the excuses I have for following up on difficult conversations, my spouse is one of my greatest inspirations.

She doesn't like to leave things hanging.  Knowing that someone is upset with her, she seeks to heal the rift sooner rather than later.  She seeks to have a respectful conversation to understand differences of opinion, or how words or acts that were intended one way were received another.  And she is dedicated to honesty in the midst of the exchange.

We all have angels in our lives.  Angels are melachim - messengers - in Hebrew.  We all have people who deliver important messages that we need to hear at crucial moments in our lives.  Sometimes its someone we've never met before and may never meet again.  But one interaction can teach or inspire us.  Sometimes its someone who is a constant and important part of our lives.  And they teach us how to deal with the difficult challenges in our lives, and how to overcome some of our most-repeated limitations.

So what are your excuses?  And who inspires you or teaches you, encouraging you to move beyond them by their example?

1 comment:

  1. I learned a useful approach to difficult conversations. Sometimes the perceived difficulty is based on your belief about their belief about you eg regarding your objective or attitude or honesty. And this colours your conversation with them.
    I was advised to think of a question such that if I knew the answer, the conversation would become easier. And then find a way to ask that question. Sometimes it's found that the impression that created the obstacle is false, sometimes discussing it creates a new and better rapport. Either way, the air is cleared.