“I’m gonna hold my breath until you give in and give me what I want!” Now there’s a communication tactic we learned as children was never effective in getting us what we wanted. All it did was make our cheeks turn blue and give us a pounding headache. Never once did it actually get us what we wanted. Yet still there are some who still manage to get to adulthood without recognizing just how completely ineffective this tactic was.
It’s called the silent treatment. It’s destructive. It’s manipulative, and left unchecked it becomes an abusive attempt to punish the other person for not giving in and giving you what you wanted. More than anything, it’s just plain wrong. And never in the history of time has using this silent treatment tactic served to build a healthy relationship between two people. And ultimately those who utilize this tactic will eventually come to realize that what they are going to be left with is nothing more than blue cheeks and a pounding headache.
During my years of leading a company I grew to learn that the only way to ever build trusting relationships with others was to be willing to communicate openly and honestly and always with respect. And it’s not always easy to do. It takes courage to be vulnerable and open up to others. It takes integrity to be honest about what your true feelings are and to keep yourself from saying something out of anger or spite, especially when you are coming from a place of hurt or frustration! And it takes charity to make sure that whatever words come out of your mouth are respectful and comes from a place of genuinely trying to make things better rather than from a place of trying to prove that you are right and they are wrong.
No one ever said communicating positively was easy. It’s not. It takes practice and work and a willingness to admit you did it wrong as well as a commitment to try again tomorrow to do it the right way. It is a constant learning process. But it’s worth it. It’s so worth it. I know because as I learned more and more to communicate that way I saw my business relationships grow and deepen, my friendships become more meaningful, and my circle of influence expand in ways I would never have expected. It’s what has allowed me to form deep, meaningful, and long lasting relationships with incredibly amazing people who have blessed my life tremendously. So yeah…its totally worth it!
Stop holding your breath…let the air out in an open, honest, and respectful way…Exhale.
~Amy Rees Anderson