Say what you mean and mean what you say….
I recently read a book on relationships, which is written by a friend of mine. It covers a wide range of issues, but the one that struck a chord with me most, was that relationships with everyone would be easier if we all “said what we mean and mean what we say”.
I most definitely do this with friends and acquaintances, to the point that I sometimes have an attack of ‘foot in mouth’ disease. But when it comes to relationships with men… Hmmm. I think I close up. I don’t want to give too much away. I feel I can protect myself if I hold stuff back. But I’m beginning to see that it may have a very negative effect. I fear it could make me come across as being secretive. But I have no secrets. I’m just private about certain things. (Hahaha! And I’m so private, I’m writing this blog!)
Anyway, a great friend of mine told me a story last night, which ties in to this point.
Many years ago she knew a man who worked for her father. He was older than her and they were great friends who spent a lot of time together. But they were never romantically involved.
Their lives moved on. They both got married (to other people!) and then… Twenty years later, this man (having had a few too many drinks) confided to my friends’ Uncle, that for 15 years he had harbored feelings for her. An unrequited love that she had never been aware of.
I have never met this man, but I can’t help feeling a huge wave of emotion. To have bottled those feelings up for so long… If it was me, it would have eaten me alive.
But why did he never tell her? Did he just presume she would not reciprocate his feelings? What must have gone through his mind all those years? Oh! The agony of not knowing… How could he have borne it?
I can only assume that it was the fear of rejection that stopped him. No one likes rejection - especially me!
But as it says in my friends’ book, if we don’t communicate properly (say what we mean and mean what we say) like this poor man, we could spend a lifetime misreading situations, missing opportunities, or even preventing ourselves from having closure.
So here’s the question? What is worse, to face the prospect of rejection or live a lifetime of regret?
I'll let you answer that one for yourselves...
And now for some shameless advertising….
Inside Out - How to have authentic relationships with everyone in your life by Sarah Abell (published by Hodder & Stoughton – coming out in paperback in August!!!! )