Message from Gail Sharp
Why is communicating honestly, authentically, and without fear so damned hard?
I recently experienced this with two people I dearly love. One, here at TallGrass, asked to discuss an idea for social media exposure. We scheduled a meeting and, five minutes before I needed to leave for an appointment, she let me know the real reason she wanted to talk. I was shocked and hurt, but realized she'd postponed talking to me out of fear -- a miserable, irrational emotion that gets-in-your-head, and is almost always wrong. After we reconvened to talk more, she admitted she had
convinced herself that my reaction would be totally different even though, rationally, she knew everything would be okay.
Two days later, another co-worker mentioned he had decided to sell his horses, a plan I knew would be devastating to him, as they were his passion. When I started to respond, he admonished me with "It's MY business!" I was taken aback. Okay, fine. Minutes later I realized the real reason for his outburst -- fear over making a really hard decision. He was
hurting and in terrible dread over life without his dear animals. Instead of being open, he pushed me away.
There have been times when I've communicated things that I didn't really mean -- made a quick snarky comment or said nothing at all -- because I was afraid of the reaction I'd get if I spoke my truth. All I really needed to say was "I'm hurting and I need you."
I learned something this past week: Listen between the lines for what people are really saying before reacting. I hope you'll keep this in mind if you hear something that seems hurtful or if you need to speak your truth and have been putting it off. We are all trying to communicate as best we can. It's one of life's toughest challenges.
P.S. Soldier Box Packing Day is set for November 15. Please plan now to donate personal care items for this holiday shipment -- especially cards and letters -- to let our troops know they are not forgotten while they are so far away from home.
Gail Sharp is the owner of TallGrass Spa and Salon. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.