I’m in a bind in a couple of relationships. I have found myself on the receiving end of some not so nice behavior. It hurts my feelings.
When I speak up and ask what’s wrong I’m met with a standard “Oh nothing.” Well, it’s not nothing. It turns out that there’s been a series of misunderstandings about small things I could have easily cleared up had I been given the chance.
But I wasn’t. So instead, I’m left feeling frustrated, sad and angry.
Sad that so much time was wasted in what could’ve been a good relationship. Frustrated because I wasn’t given a chance to fix it earlier. Angry because of expectations placed on my shoulders that I don’t feel I should have to bear.
I am at a point where I feel that if you’re not willing to communicate with me what you need, then you can’t be upset at me for not fulfilling those needs.
There, I said it.
I’ve been married for close to 5 years. In those years, my husband has not learned to read my mind, even though he lives with me, breathes the same air I do and lets me hog his side of the bed. I have learned that I need to speak up if I need something from him. And vice verse.
Why can’t we do this with friendships? I feel that if I care about you and invest in you, then I’m going to try and be open and honest. I know it’s hard. I know it’s uncomfortable.
But I know the damage that silence can do.
Some of my best relationships have come out of a willingness to be open and say “Hey, this hurt my feelings. But I still love you, let’s fix this.” Those relationships have lasted years and are rich and deep and edifying.
I get that being open and honest is scary. We want to avoid conflict or hurting people’s feelings. But in some cases, I think lack of communication is far more damaging.
Please understand I’m not saying everyone needs to spill it or wear their hearts on their sleeves. I’m not condemning people who are guarded. I’m referring to a couple of relational experiences that I have had recently.
So I’m left in a lurch right now. Carry on or cut and run? I’m exhausted. I need for people to be honest so I can learn from my mistakes, so I can understand what you need from me. So we can take this friendship to the next level.
But maybe that’s not what they want. And I’m going to be ok with that and move along and find some new friendships.
I’m a friend worth having.