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This is How We Do It.

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So after the emotional vomit that my sister-in-law and I purged on each other yesterday.  All of the years of holding in, judgment, misunderstanding culminated in a genuine cat fight.  I hope my brother never found out about the emails that went back and forth yesterday.  He would be rendered totally paralyzed.

Finally I got a decent email from her which of course opened up my floodgates of “this is where I was coming from and why I was upset.”  In essence, we got real with each other.  Think of how much TIME we wasted though.  I read once that in the wild when animals come upon each other, they are silent and walk around basically sniffing the other animal out.  It happens in the workplace too, if someone starts a new job, everyone is sniffing the new co-worker out – sussing them out if you will.  Like who are you?  Where do you rank?  What are we going to do with you?  Are you cool?

Believe it or not, I think the past 13 years that my sister-in-law and I have been keeping a distance, at arms length we have been doing just that: sniffing each other out.  We’ve never tried in any real way to get to know each other, we’ve just stood back forming opinions in our mind, making our assessments from certain behavior, not daring to admit there might be a huge glacier below the tip of the iceberg that we see.

So we got real and humane.  Sometimes in order to get real and finally come out on the humane loving side, we have to ‘go there.’  I truly believe that.  Never be afraid to tell someone the truth or what you really think, even though you feel it might not be fair or it might hurt them initially.  Why?  Because by talking directly to them about your reality, you’re giving them an opportunity to be truly understood.  It’s kind of like when you see a big hunk of spinach in someone’s tooth when they’re in public.  Will you tell them what you see right away, even if they might feel initially embarrassed or uncomfortable?  Will you be honest?  Or will you just sit back and not say a word – because you’re uncomfortable, they will embarass themselves in front of 6 more people?  I think the answer is clear.  Tell the truth always.  Even when it gets dirty.  Especially when it gets dirty.  Because you have to go through the dirt to get to the clean.

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One response »

  1. This is something I often think about in my own life; balancing honesty with sensitivity. On the one hand, I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. On the other, whose interests are served by telling each other comforting lies? I’ve never had much confidence in my ability to stay between those two lines which, for me, are pretty close together. But then, I probably think about things too much.

    Reply

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