Poor communication sometimes comes from taking the wrong responsibility. As this card implies we may take on the wrong responsibility at times. I once asked a lady in my office if she had told her husband what she had just said to me. She replied she had not. When I asked why she indicated he may have gotten upset. (There was no physical abuse in the relationship.)
Then I asked if that would have been her fault and she gave me the deer in the headlights look. She clearly had never thought about it. Now if she said the truth in a mean and hateful way then yes it may have been her “fault” that he got upset. (Keep in mind that it would still have been his responsibility how he acted but we can influence another to get upset.) However if she told him the truth in a clear, kind, and loving way it was not her fault if he got upset about it. But because she feared he would, she did not communicate clearly and truthfully with him.
A true friend will tell you the truth. That does not give them license to say it in a mean spirited or disrespectful way but you know that you can count on them to tell you the truth even if it hurts. Thus you don’t have to “mind read” a person. All this leads to more intimacy and trust in a relationship. Let’s face it, sometimes when you are protecting them you are also protecting yourself because you don’t want to deal with the conflict. But if you think about it confronting is nothing more than telling someone the truth. If they are doing something you don’t like or want them to all you are doing by confronting them is letting them know. After all you can’t change them or make them do differently but you can let them know. If you don’t tell them then the poor communication is on you. If you do and they don’t change it is on them. If you keep on telling them once they “get it” then you nag and they will likely tune you out. All you can do is tell the truth in a kind and loving way and allow the person to do what they will with it. Sometimes people change in one conversation, other times it may take some time, and still other times they don’t change at all and we need to adapt to it. Your pushing them will not likely lead them to change nearly as much as your telling them how you feel, loving them, and allowing them time to process and decide to change on their own. Meanwhile you can focus on things you want to work on about yourself.
Use this Card to…
- Remind you of your responsibility in communicating
- Clarify what your responsibility in communicating is
- Not take communication responsibility that is not yours
- Help you to let go of trying to change others once you have communicated with them