When I was in my early twenties, I used to obsess on getting my communication “right”. I just had to come to the person directly or put my thoughts into writing to “clear things up”. I neither stopped to assess whether she/he was ready for it nor if I should even bother talking about the issue at all. I thought I was being mature. Because I was a writer, I even thought that getting into the roughest details was a gift I was offering. When I wasn’t doing those, I would turn to my friends for a ranting spree. To my surprise, more conflict only gravitated towards me as a result, and those people who I sincerely wanted to be in good terms with only end up hating me. Voila! I have hurt them in vain.
There are still times, even at this point, when I would be “completely honest” thinking that that was what was needed to iron out a situation, or to give myself peace of mind, only to find out in horror how bad an idea it was.
On the other hand, I’ve been able to resolve deep seated issues without ever talking or writing to the person who I felt has hurt me or talking about it with anybody. I have successfully worked through them myself, armed with my connection with the Divine. It may have taken me years, and even decades, to do that, but I know that there’s no better way to go through my healing, anyway.
I think I’ve pretty much lived long enough and I have fucked up enough as well to assess both scenarios.
Now I am in a pretty confident place to say that communication with others is not always necessary for closure and healing to take place (nor does ranting about it). It may not even be beneficial.
Here are my points on why I think that is so:
1. First of all, let’s be honest, a heart-to-heart dialogue is not really the rule in our reality, but an exception.
Thinking that it should take place before healing or resolution can take place is a sure and fast way to disempower ourselves. We are never in control of anybody else, and expecting them to cooperate with our idea of “mature resolution” only hands them the upper hand. By doing so we are trapped in convincing them to behave and feel a certain way first before we can get to our desired disposition.
We need to validate ourselves instead.
2. People are usually in different levels of consciousness.
Yes, even if they’re identical twins who have lived their lives sleeping in the same bedroom.
It’s not merely about experiencing the same situation differently, but more importantly, having different abilities and filters by which to perceive and interpret life experiences in general. People have, more often than not, extremely contrasting interests due to a variety of factors like their age, nationality, temperament, upbringing, current struggles, how they define pleasure, how they want their life to be, and so on and so forth.
The reality is, sometimes, some people just won’t be able to meet halfway. Sometimes we just can’t be on the same page with another person and no amount of “honest talk” can change that.
Sometimes, the only thing that can heal up a conflict is, as the cliche goes, time…and I would add, mindful silence.
Forcing people to reconcile at this stage usually only backfires.
3. We need more time to process our emotions than we usually think.
When I mean more time, I mean, we sometimes need years, decades even and tons of life experiences in between for our thoughts and emotions to percolate.
Sometimes our initial opinions and feelings about what just happened/what is happening are not really what we’ll find when the dust settles.
This is why barging through the door and airing out our opinions, prematurely, sometimes only stunt or totally annihilate whatever resolution is brewing underneath.
Sometimes what we need is to reach a certain level of maturity first to view the same situation in a more realistic way.
Some Many things are better left unsaid.
Expressing ourselves without filters on can feel good. But this movement about “be yourself, express yourself” doesn’t teach us to embody this with caution.
Well definitely we can be in-your-face honest with a few people who we can justify this behavior with. But when we are talking about people who matter to us and who we have genuine, caring relationships with, taking this advice at face value could do more harm than good.
There are some things that, may be true for us, but that may just hurt them to no avail. We need to check with ourselves first and ask, “Will expressing these things move our relationship to a deeper level? Will it lead to a better understanding of some sort or will this just blur out my good intentions?”
We need to be cautious about the thin line between “brutally honest” and “brutally critical” if what we really desire for is a peaceful resolution and a higher level of awareness (many times “brutally honest” won’t even make the cut.)
Sometimes, taking a step back, is what we have to do instead to save a relationship and/or all the goodness that are worth saving.
5. Sometimes what we really need is solitude and some serious inner work, not catharsis.
Venting out our emotions may feel good, really good. But it doesn’t always lead to integration and growth.
In truth, getting into the habit of talking about our issues, may even be the very thing that holds us back and keeps us in a cycle of frustration.
By not taking enough time to be alone with our own thoughts and feelings we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to know ourselves more. If our initial response to them is to turn to others, instead of listening to them in the privacy of our own spirit, we will surely miss all the valuable information they have in store for us which can guide us into making decisions and changes that are good for us.
Likewise, crises’ purpose is to usher us into a higher level of consciousness. They’re meant to assist us in remembering our true divine nature and what life is really about. On the surface it may look like we’re having an issue with another person, but if we take the time to go inwards, we’ll always see that it’s pointing at something about ourselves that we need to heal.
I’d say any day that addressing that internal issue first is more important than working on resolving an external, interpersonal one. Efforts put on the latter before the former would be futile, anyway.
Communication with others is not always necessary for closure and healing to take place. It may be a part of them or a result of them, but definitely not a prerequisite. We all have the capacity to go through these processes on our own – and sometimes, in truth, that’s what we need to be doing.