Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Watching My Words

When you're under the same roof as someone else, you're bound to encounter moments when you disagree. I'm a person who's emotions are intertwined with each square inch of her brain, so oftentimes when I am having a problem with someone, my heart gets wrapped up in it too. This doesn't help me choose my words well.

Tonight I realized that something was bothering me with the way things were in our house. I knew I needed to talk to Zac about it, but I was feeling very frustrated at the time. I was able to mentally step back and ask myself the question, "What's really bothering me here?"

As I tried to figure this out, I realized I had some questions for him. I didn't know all of the information and I was assuming attitudes for him that weren't necessarily true. I knew I needed to learn more.

I also knew he was tired and that if I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want to have a conversation like this so late in the evening. I had to think carefully how to bring it up, and to be honestly okay with him letting me know that now wasn't a good time to talk about it.

I thought for a time about what I needed to do before I acted. This is really huge for me, because oftentimes I just react to things without thinking them through.

I approached him and we had the conversation right there. I was calm and peaceful, and I was able to fully separate my prior emotions from the conversation we were having. I didn't feel an ounce of the frustration I had felt earlier, mostly because I was approaching the conversation with the thought that I wanted to hear his side of things and see the big picture of what was going on.

It was wonderful. Oh, how I wish I could do this every time I need to confront someone! Because I wasn't going into it making all sorts of assumptions, I could hear the truth more clearly. Because I was not calling myself "right" I could see that I had been wrong too. Because I wasn't accusatory, he did not have to feel on the defense. Good stuff.

Lord, help me approach tough conversations this way more often.

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