One of the challenges in relationship communication is getting people to talk things out with each other to achieve better understanding of each other. Is there ever a time not to talk things out?
Roselyn and Joyce talked on the phone and toward the end of the conversation, Roselyn said something that Joyce took offense at and she snapped at Roselyn. Roselyn realized Joyce was wrong as well as misunderstanding her good intentions. Roselyn tried to explain but Joyce started saying things to discount her. Roselyn sensed the conversation could turn ugly if it continued so she suggested, “I don’t think this conversation is going in a good direction. I believe there has been a misunderstanding so let’s either talk about this later or let it go.”
Joyce paused a while and then said, “Some things you need to talk out and other things you just need to let go. I think this is one of them. Can we just erase the last couple of minutes?”
Roselyn chuckled, “Yes, this reminds me of what I used to so with my son. Sometimes we’d say, “Shall we just hit the alt ctrl delete keys like when we reboot the computer and start over?”
Fortunately for these sisters they had knowledge of good communication skills and knew when to talk and when to let things go.
There are times when rehashing things or talking things out can only make things worse and cause an unnecessary argument over who is right and who is wrong. How do you know when to let something go? This takes discernment.
3 Tips to Know When Not to Talk Things Out
- Is it something relative minor? You need to choose your battles and some things are simply not worth the fight. One mother and daughter used to battle over on how to hold the knife when you cut up food. They would argue and argue about this petty issue. Really in the larger scheme of things, this simply does not matter. There are more than one way to hold a knife.
- Is it a touchy area which has caused fights before. Christy and Rose agreed not to talk about their political differences because their arguments only caused them to be alienated from each other.
- Are you hungry or tired or angry about something else? Brenda confessed to Lynn, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’m hungry and tired and when I get like that, I’m a grumpy bear.” Joe admitted, “I know that I’m taking my frustration out on Dave over little things because I’m angry about what is going on in my life at work.”
How about you? Are there some things you can simply let go of to get along better? You don’t always have to set the record straight by showing where the other person is wrong especially about minor issues.
Take responsibility for your own grumpiness rather than take it out on others. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did. Know when to address issues and when not to. You’ll learn from your mistakes which issues are best to let go of rather than fight over. Sometimes in the interest of the relationship, it’s better to let those little go.
What about you? What has been your experience?