Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Building Bridges

So easy to get in trouble with people... letting misunderstandings put another brick in the walls between us. We say something. The other person interprets what we have said through their own filter. We don't ask for clarification. We make an assumption about what was meant. Sometimes we are right. But, when not, we start the conversation in our head about how that person has wronged us. Then we are off and running- angry, resentful, disappointed.

Some of us are natural communicators. We choose our words carefully and then check in with others to make sure there is understanding. This does take extra time, but it is usually worth it. The rest of us need to learn from our clear, direct friends.

It is especially important that we help children with this. They don't always understand the words we have used. Children also often go to the place of believing that the problems in our relationships, our anger or turning away from them is their fault. And it is not. Children don't make us angry. Our friends or partners don't intentionally make us angry. When we are angry, we are making a choice to react to the situation that way.

We need to build bridges that help our relationships grow. We need to offer support and listen. We need a healthy dose of patience. These special relationships deserve our attention. As I write these words, I need this reminder, and a nudge to apologize for a misunderstanding I contributed to just the other day.

Wishing you a day of bridge building. We need each other.

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