Two people (no matter what their relationship is) can walk around holding resentments towards each other for all the wrong reasons. Not that there’s a right reason to be resentful but what I mean is this…
Here’s a scenario: Bob and Sam are friends. Once Sam mentioned something judgemental to Bob about people who buy expensive cars. Bob, who has an expensive car, thought that Sam was talking about him. Bob has been walking around holding this resentment for about a year and Sam is oblivious to it. Often when Bob gets into his car and thinks about Sam, part of his driving enjoyment is lost. Whenever he sees Sam these days he looks down on him a little bit and makes snide remarks about things that Sam does. They are drifting apart and both of them think that maybe their friendship is past it’s sell-by date.
What is missing here is communication. If Bob had spoken to Sam about this, he would have realised that Sam wasn’t even talking about him.
This can happen in subtle and secret ways too. I read about a person who found out that her husband resented her for becoming overweight during their marriage. This had come as a total surprise to her as he had never said anything to her about it. If they had spoken about this issue they could have found a solution together. Not only that but they could have grown closer by communicating with and supporting each other. He had been holding on to this resentment in secret and had been taking his revenge in subtle and silent ways.
If I could give you something important to take away with you it would be this. When communicating….
Seek first to understand
Listen to what the other person has to say. Don’t just wait quietly until he or she is finished speaking so that you can speak. Listening is the key to communicating effectively. We often forget this and think that speaking is the most important part.
Speak from your own point of view
Talk from your own experience and feelings (For example… “I feel hurt by what you just said” – rather than “you are always hurting me”).
Listen and try not to interrupt. Then have your say.
Here’s wishing you strength to create peace in your relationships.