Is it possible that the root cause of all problems in life could boil down to the same issue?
I’ve been exposed to a lot of people’s problems over the years, both in my coaching and training sessions as well as of my own creation, and lately I’ve been noticing something of a trend.
More and more of the problems seem to be caused by a lack of communication, not because the person doesn’t want to communicate, but because they are scared of how the other person will react to the communication.
When something goes unsaid in a relationship, whether that be interpersonal, business or friendship, a void opens up. Whilst initially this may appear small, if it is not addressed it will continue to grow, putting stress on the relationship and leaving the other party questioning why there is such an unspoken distance.
Take, for example, the case of the employee who wants to work remotely but is scared of losing his job if he challenges the status quo.
Or the wife burning with a sexual fantasy who doesn’t know how to tell her husband.
What about the girl who denies her crush because she doesn’t want to risk rejection?
In each of those cases, the conversation that needs to happen doesn’t because the person who needs to instigate it is afraid of what the other person will say. Instead, those words stay inside, swirling round and round in the imagination, simultaneously eating you up as well as making the problem seem increasingly bigger with each passing day.
Why? Why are we so afraid to say the things that are inside of us, the things that truly make up our being? What is the worst thing that could happen in each of those cases?
Well actually, the consequences could be pretty bad. The employee could lose his job. The wife could alienate her husband. The girl could be rejected and have her heart broken again. Surely it is therefore better to say nothing and just carry on without saying anything?
It doesn’t quite work that way.
You see, living a life which isn’t true to yourself will eventually pull you apart. That voice that you try so hard to silence will eventually need to be heard and so while 95% of you might be ok, that 5% will find a way to get to you. Ever wonder why people turn to vices such as alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling? So many times it is because there is a part of their life that they have not communicated, and this vice allows them to escape from that voice for just long enough to take the edge off. But it doesn’t stay quiet for long, and soon that vice requires more and more attention to distract from the cause of the problem.
Trust me, if you let it go on long enough, you’ll end up living two different lives; the one you are trying so hard to protect and the other that allows you to escape. This is not living.
Unfortunately, you are probably not going to like the solution.
The solution is to say how you feel, and say it in a way that you express everything about you. Tell that other person what you are feeling, why you are feeling it and what you want to do about the feeling. However, you need to say it from a point of strength in yourself, grounded in self confidence, self worth and self belief, knowing that whatever the outcome, you will be fine because you are living true to your own life.
As soon as you speak your mind, a weight is lifted and you will feel a sense of freedom that comes with acting in accordance with your true values.
Also, if you chunk up in your conversation, talking more about why this is important to you rather than just what outcome you want to happen, you will find it easier to gain agreement from the person you are talking to. Don’t demand your boss let’s you work from home twice a week, but instead tell her you want to be able to take your children to school and that working from home would make this possible. Don’t blurt out a fantasy, but instead tell your partner that there is a part of you that is more adventurous than you may have let on and that you want to experiment with new things. And tell the guy about your ideal relationship and ask him if he thinks he could match up to your version of prince charming.
The source of so many problems (if not all of them) is a lack of communication because we are afraid of how the other person will take it. Learn how to chunk up in your conversation before going into specifics, and then embrace the essence of you as you jump into the conversation with both feet. The other path really isn’t worth considering, I promise you.