Healthy Relationships: Avoiding vs. Clarifying Conversations (Part 4 of 4)
To have healthy conversations is to start with wanting and valuing with positive intentions of not wanting to avoid conversations but to pursue clarify conversations. When you avoid, you walk in fear and anxiety. When you clarify, you are walking in confidence that you believe in the relationship that the two of you can resolve issues and problem. When you avoid, you minimize problems, sweep it under the carpet, assume as time goes by, it will go away, and you feel that maybe the other person will understand and interrupt you are fine. But when you are clarifying conversations, you are saying to the other person that you are not fine, that you do feel some hurt or conflict, and you do value the other person and you do value the relationship for the sake of wanting to resolve things.
In many ways, those who want to clarify are not thinking about how they have been hurt, how they want to lick their wounds and pull away, and how they feel this personal friend in their life does matter to them and they want to seek and find ways to clarify. Clarify people seek and value the other person well avoiding people see and value themselves in wanting to only focus on them. Avoiders find reasons to avoid because the other person was not nice to them they feel a lack of love and empathy, and they feel the other person does not value nor care about them. Avoiders say I need something, you did not give it to me, and therefore I will hide and avoid and conclude you will not give it to me.
But those individuals who pursue clarifying conversations get out of thinking only of themselves and instead think and value the relationship and one another. People who clarify are wanting to building healthy relationships and if trust, respect, love, kindness, empathy or understanding goes out the window, then they start to feel sadness and feel bad that something has happened in which the two people are feeling cautious and you sense each person is walking on eggshells and this bothers the clarifying person.
That is why at times every relationship must sit down and have that frank and honest conversation of what does this relationship stand for. Do we value and want trust, respect, empathy, understanding, love and kindness in how we relate and how we are going to resolve relationships. So for example, if the clarifying person feels or notices the avoiding person does not feel a sense of trust, that a clarify person does not want to talk about a problem or hurt on conflict but they start with asking and clarifying questions of how come we do not trust each other? What has happened between the two of us where you sense I am not trustworthy and I sense you are not trustworthy? The clarifying person could ask this question, what have I done today or this week in which I have not build trust or engage in participating trust between us that has resulted in the two of us not feeling a level of trust?
To clarify is do go deeper than you always being late, or you don’t know how to balance the checkbook, or noticing the kids are doing things and getting away with acting out problems and as a parent you are not them. Avoiders don’t want to talk about money, parenting, family, in-laws, chores, or emotional and relationship hurts. But people who want to clarify are wanting to not only talk about these subjects but also want to go deeper to address the foundation and root of any issue: trust, love, respect, empathy, understanding and kindness. People who clarify are tired and do not want the exhausted and arguing and fighting over the issues of relationship. They want to pursue a deeper way of relating so what when topical issues come up like finances, they first of all want to make sure the foundation and base of the relationship has not been hurt or destroyed first.
That is why if the grand rules are set up first when two people have any conversation about any problems or topics, that each person goes into the conversation first with each person wanting to value and participate out of what you value so that any topic of conversation can get resolved because two people do love, respect, show empathy and understanding, and are for the relationship, and not just trying to put out fires fix problems all the time and are out to confront you for the sake of wanting to attack you as being the problem. Clarifying people want the “we” and value the relationship; avoiding people value themselves and want to fix the problem but not necessary address the relationship.
So it is a given in any personal relationship that conflicts, hurts, misunderstandings, problems, and tough topics to address are going to happen. But as long as somewhere at the start there is a deeper conversation between two people of building a foundation for healthy ways of working together based upon values and some ground rules, than the relationship will sustain and become meaningful and can stand any problems or storms of life that can come your way. Life has storms from small sprinkles to huge hail like thunderstorms but as long a two people value clarifying and not avoiding, I promise you your relationship will soar above life issues and there will be a confident attitude on both persons part that whatever does happen, we believe in us and we will not avoid, and we will act like a team working together so that we can clarify and understand for the sake of building healthy relationships. Thanks for reading.