It started out just like so many other conversations with so many other men, “Can we talk?” It’s a phrase that even puts a knot in my stomach. On the other end someone is throwing me a lifeline, one I feel unqualified to catch yet seem to do so with surprising regularity.
To each person who has thrown the life line there are often many similarities. While each is different in their own way, and each has different obstacles, there is a very common thread that seems to tear apart both men and women.
The “unsaid word” it brings more hurt, and more pain than even the nastiest insult. It festers until it can no longer be bared and then leads to a flood of emotion and a flood of words that can damage and inflict pain.
I deal with people who have a history of not saying things, letting things slide, burying their feelings in an attempt to somehow keep the peace or not upset the apple cart in life. Like a bad horror movie those same feelings arise from the grave even more grotesque than the day they were buried. Those unsaid concerns, those unsaid feelings that are repressed, only seem to grow into real life monsters, the kind that destroy lives and families.
I am by my own admission a very simple guy, I would like to share some of that simple advice to avoid there being a monster in any one’s life and maybe hear one less "Can we talk."
“I love you.” Easily the powerful phrase ever used in life, the capacity to love and be loved is as basic to human happiness as food and shelter.
“I am sorry” The hardest words in life for most to share with someone they care about, yet seem to flow from our lips when we step on a stranger’s foot by mistake.
The most evil and destructive trait known to man, being selfish. Have ability to care about someone else, the ability to take a back seat to some else, it is the difference between misery and happiness. I have yet to meet a selfish individual who has anything to show for it, I have yet to meet a selfless person who did not have an abundance of the things that mattered.
That simple stuff needs to be said, it needs to be demonstrated, it cannot be assumed, taken for granted or left unsaid. To ignore someone or to remain silent is truly harmful, it is not noble, or caring.
Pardon my sharing advice that was not asked for, I have grown weary of coaching yet another through the process of how to repair what is broken... Bob