What are the words that are difficult to say to somebody else?
Often, it’s when we fear that the other person will have a negative reaction, like disappointment.
Here’s why this issue is on my mind this morning: Somebody at work had made a difficult decision she needed to tell me about. She was afraid I would be disappointed by what she had to say, so she put off telling me, waiting for the “right time.”
The right time hadn’t come yet.
I asked her about it last night, and found out that way.
That is my least favorite way of finding out something difficult.
So when she answered my question with the disappointing news, I felt stunned. The wind got knocked out of me. I was direct about THAT, by the way. And she and I talked things through. And it’s all okay.
I’ve been on both sides of this situation: being disappointed and disappointing somebody else. (As you have, too, I assume.)
And, I totally relate to the wish to not disappoint somebody. I’ve also experienced reluctance and procrastination about telling somebody something difficult.
However, I am going to make a strong pitch, right now, for direct communication, the sooner the better.
If we have something difficult to tell somebody, if we fear disappointment as a reaction, let’s try this:
- Recognize and let go of beliefs that this will damage or destroy the relationship.
- Remember that other people are not as fragile as you fear.
- Tell yourself you’ve made a difficult decision, and you’ve done the best you can.
- Realize that, whatever happens, you’ll learn something.
- Take a deep breath.
- Say it.
Let’s see if I can practice this — role model it — right now.
(Internal process of preparation.)
I have nothing more to say this morning.