It’s Day 44 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as despite the fact that it very well may signal the end of a relationship, I’m disengaging from dysfunctional discourse with someone. All of my life, I’ve tried to be a person who avoids conflict. Most of time that manifests itself in me not voicing my feelings or opinions because they differed from those of others. And I don’t really mind doing that with an inconsequential choice or topic. It really didn’t matter to me what game we cousins played as children, so I let them pick. I like most foods, so I’m usually up for the whatever restaurant whoever I’m with prefers. More often than not, I don’t have a dog in the fight of the moment. Sometimes, however, when the stakes are high –– when it’s a crucial conversation –– I’m compelled to have a discussion, debate or even a mild disagreement (Though these all start with D, I don’t consider them to be Ds as in the challenges women face). When the stakes are high, I attempt to keep the goal of a crucial conversation –– to preserve the relationship –– in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m perfect at it. But am I intentional about it? I can say Yes with assurance. So when I’m doing my best to use the tools in my belt –– Using “I” Statements, Active Listening, Positive Sentiment Override, etc. and the other individual is aggressive, argumentative and downright argumentative, as I’ve gotten older and hopefully grown in all the life domains, I consistently find myself disengaging from dysfunctional discourse.
The recent pounding I took from an individual about one of the above items not being an unplanned expense reminded me that not everyone has as many tools in their belt. If they’ve only got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s not a judgment call or superiority on my part. It’s actually pity that even people –– me included –– who love the Lord and may even love the person with whom they’re embroiled in conflict –– are so intent on making their point that it becomes more important than the person and maintaining the relationship.
For now, I’m choosing to press pause on this one. Prayerfully, the person will be receptive to learning about other tools they can add to their belt. Until that happens, I’m dis-engaging from the dysfunctional discourse and lifting the person up in prayer while I continue working on my own communication skills. By doing so, I’m minimizing the communication barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I pray you’ll bePink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about adding communication tools to your repertoire as well. If you do, you can minimize communication barriers and live your best life, too.
It’s Day 290 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and today I experienced one of those God-things regarding a stressful situation – It’s finally time to talk about it! I’ve been praying for wisdom and seeking guidance from trusted advisors concerning some difficult conversations I believe need to take place in order for the situation to improve. While God doesn’t speak to me audibly, He speaks loud and clearly through His Word, the Bible. There it’s apparent that truth – spoken in love – is always the right response. Seldom does sweeping things under the carpet or ignoring the elephant in the room ever resolve an issue. Contemplating thus, I drove to a meeting and heard the lyrics, We can’t see for the elephant in the room; we’ve got to talk about it! piping over the airwaves. Confirmation! Later the other parties involved in the situation made it clear that they feel it’s time to talk about it, too. Total confirmation!
Coming from a dysfunctional family (one of the Ds or barriers women face) where issues were dealt with using extreme avoidance or extreme aggression, I’ll admit I struggle with conversations that are fraught with conflict. God designed me to be an Abigail, or a peacemaker, but because I’ve often had to engage in fight or flight to protect myself, conflict tempts me to default to my old coping mechanisms – retreating completely or defending my position to the death (not literally though)! Through the grace of God, lots of work on myself, and eleven years with a man who models Christ’s unconditional love for me, I’ve learned new coping skills. My heart’s desire has always been to be the one to break the generational cycle of dysfunction in my family. It runs deep and wide. In and of myself, I know it’s impossible. “But with God, all things are possible!” – Matthew 19:26. These conversations will be hard, but we’re not getting anywhere ignoring the issues. It’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to see the love for the elephant in the room.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Christ follower, I read a devotional every day. Today it was about being a risk-taker. It discussed facing things that feel terrifying because we see the potential benefit. Even if that means a enduring a difficult transition to get there…Taking the risk requires courage and weighing the positives and negatives in order experience peace before we move forward. I did this recently with a dear friend, instead of avoiding the conversation, and thankfully it turned out well. That interaction gives me hope for this situation. I ask for your prayers as I take next steps because it’s far past time to talk about it.
Have you ever treated a difficult situation at home or work like the elephant in the room and ignored it? How were you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose when you finally decided to address it?