I have found myself in the awkward position on more than one occasion recently where I have had to tell close friends, family members and colleagues that their words and/or actions have been harmful to those around them and those closest to them.
Never one for confrontation, this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Ever.
In the past, I most probably would never have said anything to the offenders, turning a blind eye or a deaf ear, but the three encounters I've had over this past month have been deeply personal and my husband gave me a swift kick up the you-know-what, saying it was time I stood up for myself and spoke my mind.
So I did.
And I felt like crap doing it.
But after the fact, I never felt better. And I came to realise that sometimes people just don't realise that what they are saying or doing is affecting anyone else but themselves. I guess it's human nature to be selfish, and in the age we're living in, that's ok - to an extent.
|(Image from Google Images, Pro Bono Coaching Web site)|
Of course, the flip side is that the person you're confronting might get defensive and/or offended and it's at that point where you need to re-evaluate that relationship and consider whether the best option would be to sever ties. In my case, I lost one relationship, but that was my choice. It was a poisonous relationship and one that wasn't adding any value to my life.
Speaking my mind on two issues actually improved my relationships with my folks and my oldest friend, and though it was extremely difficult at the time, I'm glad I did it.
Of course, if I were on the other side of the confrontation, I would want to know if someone was not happy with something I had done or said. I know it would be hard to hear; I take things very personally and would probably dwell on it for months, but sometimes reflection and correction are necessary in an age of selfishness.