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Have you ever been angry or perhaps frustrated with someone for not fulfilling an expectation you may not have clearly or even fully communicated? If so, it’s okay. It happens sometimes. But before you get upset, you need to check yourself and take some responsibility for where you might have gone wrong in this scenario.
You need to be a better communicator. After all, we can’t read each other’s minds.
There have been times when I’ve personally been hurt, disappointed, and sometimes livid with different people in my life for not showing up for me during times when I needed them the most. There was one time in college when I needed help with an assignment one of my closest friends offered to help me with. But when she didn’t come through when I reached out to her, I was upset and ghosted on her for a few days. I never told her why I was mad at her, either. I also never communicated to her how important it was for me to have help with the assignment I was having a hard time completing. Since she was my friend, I assumed that she knew what I needed was a priority and that she would come through. When she didn’t, I could have handled things better instead of staying away. I could have chosen to have an honest conversation with her about how I felt, managed my expectations, and understood that she wasn’t a mind reader. None of us are.
How many times have you been upset when one of your good friends, a family member, or a significant other didn’t follow up with you? How have you responded when the text you sent was ignored? Or when you were left on read? Or when someone cancelled their plans with you at the last minute and didn’t give you a valid reason why they bailed? All of these kinds of things could be better addressed if we all learned to be better communicators. Great communication is everything. It’s interesting to live in a world where there are so many cool and convenient ways to communicate with one another, yet so many of us are failing at it all the time. And it’s impacting our relationships and how we feel about those we’re interacting with.
If you’re upset with someone, tell them why. If you’re offended, speak up. If you need something, ask for it. Talk. Use your words and be upfront. Have those hard conversations. Sure, they could get awkward and uncomfortable, but at least you can say you still tried to communicate instead of holding things in and keeping to yourself. If being a good communicator isn’t something you’re used to doing, well, start practicing, and keep practicing until you become better at it. Don’t hold the different people in your life hostage with your passive-aggressiveness, silent treatments, or anger. Those behaviors will destroy your relationships. Instead, use your words and c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e.