Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want
Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is speak clearly, honestly and directly.
Song lyrics run through my mind on a similar vein. "Say what you need to say," John Mayer reminds me. "Why don't you come right out and say it?" asks Relient K. "Even if the words are probably gonna hurt, I'd rather have the truth than something insincere." I know these songs by heart, yet the call to simply say what we mean strikes us as a colossal challenge. WHY?
We are constantly "considering" what others are thinking. We calculate, we plan, we imagine their responses. Before we've said anything, we have replayed the conversation 1,000 times over in our minds. Somehow we're tricked into thinking we know what they will say and do, so we put ourselves emotionally in that future. We stop being present and we start being anxious. When we get to the conversation with anxiety, we try to circumscribe what we actually mean. We give "context," but what if we just said what we meant?
Standing with openness and confidence, we speak our minds. We share our feelings, our desires or our perspective to another person. Then we place a crucial PERIOD at the end of our sentence and we wait. In this space, we leave the freedom for another to respond or react, and we can know we are "big enough" to handle whatever comes. Just as the considerations we have live in our minds, so the person we are talking to will be filtered through their own perspective. Maybe they ask clarifying questions, then we can give context and explanations. Rather than trying to ease into a conversation with clutter, just dive in head first.
When next we talk, please tell me what you want, what you really really want. Just say what you need to say and we'll be able to move the conversation with clarity. I'll commit to do the same.