Have the hard conversations

My middle child is at it again- instilling all the wisdom. 

Yesterday, she came home from school and told me that she and one of her friends got into an argument. It is still unclear what the disagreement was all about, but that is irrelevant.  

After telling me this, she said, “We are going to have to have a conversation tomorrow.” 

I laughed because no matter how often it happens nowadays, it is still funny to hear such a big word come out of this tiny human.  

It also impressed me that she was so straight forward.  

I nodded and told her that is exactly what she needed to do and the best way to handle the situation. 

It made me reflect on myself a little bit. I began wondering just how many personal issues I have dealt with in the past that could have been resolved by just having a conversation.  

As mature adults, we like to think we are all capable of handling unpleasant situations in this manner. But sometimes that is not the case or if we do handle them by opening a line of discussion, we sometimes say hurtful things or words we do not mean in the heat of the moment.  

I cannot speak for any of you, but I know there have been times that I have simply not said a word just to avoid conflict and confrontation- two things that make me squirm just thinking about them.  

I have chosen to bite my tongue and to not have conversations with others just because it may be a little uncomfortable. In some cases, (personally I can count about 20 off the top of my head) I have held grudges over extended periods of time just for that very reason. Some of these grudges were against coworkers, friends, my family and even my husband a time or two.  

But like Ashton, we should keep in mind that communication is key in all relationships, no matter whom it is with or how old we are. We should strive to communicate our feelings with our bosses, parents and our children.

Of course, if it is fresh, sometimes we need to take a moment or even a day or two to reflect on the circumstances before we respond, but we should always respond. Your response may not deliver the reaction you would like, but at least you will be able to look back and know that you did what you could on your end to reach a resolution.  

Ultimately holding grudges can end up hurting you more than the person or people who inspired them. It could entrap you in a never-ending cycle of anger, remorse, or distress, causing you to be stuck reliving events of the past over and over again. This is highly unlikely to make you feel any better. It could actually be detrimental to your health in some ways.

I know there have been many times that I have sat in that anger, thinking about a situation that has occurred and I get in my head and end up exaggerating the entire issue making it far worse than it actually is.

I have let what could have been a lifelong friendship fall to the wayside due to a simple misunderstanding that could have been resolved by having an open and honest conversation. Instead, I have let years pass holding onto that. Luckily, I was able to rekindle that friendship by simply reaching out. It may not ever be the same again. A lot of years have passed and our lives have carried on. We have both met hardships and tough times that have changed who we are as people, but I cannot help but wonder how different things would be if we had been there for each other during those times. 

So, take it from Ashton and have the hard, awkward, uncomfortable conversations. You will not ever regret putting forth the effort, but you more than likely will regret it if you do not at least try.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom, digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal and publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal,)

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