Sometimes the only thing that needs be said is the very hardest thing to say.
But we don’t want to say it.
I mean, we do but we don’t. You know?
We don’t say the very hardest thing because we don’t want to rock the boat.
Or upset anyone.
Or be unkind.
But most of all, we don’t want to be wrong.
[Because being wrong makes us question so many of our assumptions – a really unsettling and icky opening-a-can-of-worms feeling.]
We don’t say the big thing because maybe we’ve mis-interpreted the situation or don’t have all the facts.
We could be wrong because we really don’t know what’s going on with the other person, and if we ask we’re afraid we’ll hear something we’re not ready or able to hear.
Or we might feel too small to say something so big.
So we don’t say anything.
Even the thing that needs to be said most. The thing that will give us clarity, and relief – and maybe rouse our own compassion for the other person.
That’s the tricky part – feeling compassion for someone we feel just doesn’t get it.
So, we bite our tongue, maybe roll our eyes behind their back, talk to our best friend at length. Maybe talk with several friends, come to think of it.
And we desperately seek evidence to prove – PROVE – that we are… right.
Funny, that, isn’t it? We’d rather be right than be in relationship.
Because “right” means that we are a little… what? Smarter? More insightful? Slightly superior? Justified in seeing the world the way we want to see it?
[Oh, hello, ego. I see you’ve raised your little head again.]
We want deep connection and collaboration, but if we can’t say what needs to be said we’re keeping ourselves from the very thing we want the most.
The next time you’re compelled to ask “What in the world could he be thinking?” and in that split-second before you jump to conclusions – do one simple thing.
Ask him. Kindly. Respectfully. Openly.
Put aside your ego’s need to be right. Just ask, “What are you thinking?”
Listen, reflect, then say what you’re thinking. Even if it’s the hardest thing in the world to do.
Always do the thing which will move you toward deeper, more real connection with yourself – and with others.
As a practice – whether you’re connecting at home or at the office -shifting toward real connection means that not only will you feel more yourself and happier, but you’ll find that there are fewer and fewer hard things to be said.
Because you don’t need to be “right” when you see the other person fully. And allow yourself to be seen, too.