12.26.1997 8:52 P.M.

Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, yeah.
So what the heck am I to say about talking about it? I guess I have to say that I want to encourage everyone to talk to others about whatever might be going on that is somehow creating discomfort. What I'm speaking about here are those situations where we have just encountered something with regard to another person that has prompted us to feel hurt or distanced from that person.

Often times such situations just remain inside when it might be more constructive to bring it out in the open. I personally believe that it's far more constructive speak out one's feelings in the moment when it's done with the clear intent of building a closer relationship and creating a better understanding between each other. Why do I say this? Many times we hold back our feelings for various reasons that all seem to make sense. If it didn't make sense to keep our feelings to ourselves, then we'd more often be talking about those things that are causing us discomfort.

Now I realize that there are many people who feel that to speak out one's feelings open them up to criticism, ridicule or even makes them feel weak. I've heard many times in many situations such things like "come on, toughen up", or "stop being a baby", or any number of comments that may seem to belittle. My feeling is this, if you know you intend to create a greater understanding between you and if you feel that your speaking out didn't result in that, then you aren't done. You've just broadened the topic to include this newly added feeling that you now have of feeling shut down, put down or whatever prompted you to feel like backing down from the discussion that was intended to bring you two together.

Do it now or do it later.

Letting something stand as it is when it serves to diminish yourself or another acts as wedge that remains in place until the next event that serves to add another wedge in the relatively same location. Like a block of wood, wedge after wedge it becomes more stressed until it eventually splits. It doesn't go away as it might appear. It lurks inside pending resolution in some fashion. Resolution can come alone or in tandem with the personal growth of the other party as well. Working alone is difficult and seems to just foster isolation and weaken any confidence in a process that is part of life and might as well be fun.

All life is precious, that makes you precious. All life deserves respect and so you deserve respect. So does the person that you're becoming increasingly pissed at! But the respect we all deserve does not need to come at the expense of anything, especially not at the expense of another person. I feel that working constructively actually encourages others find the means to become the kind of person that it's quite easy to respect. This is important since we all seem to have a tendency to find reasons not to reveal our feelings, or at least to find reasons that it's unnecessary. A good rule of thumb is if you finding yourself thinking about something that someone has just done or said, and you find that you are now reacting to that versus to what is now happening, then there's something to talk about.

Fun? What the heck am I saying. That I might be able to take some pleasure in the process of working things out? Exactly! Maybe not in every situation, but there can be an element of pleasure when you consider that if both parties are talking constructively, meaning trying to convey their feelings without trying to hurt the other, then something good will always come out of the discussion. That's good news. Any pain involved in talking about a sensitive subject is far outweighed by the great sense of accomplishment that eventually results.

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