AA032448I want to talk to you about something that is very important in our lives—how we talk with one another.
I’ve had a pretty stressful weekend. In my life right now there are a ton of moving pieces. Uncertainty about the future, kids graduating High School and College…next moves that we have to make…lots of tension.
And you know in your life when there’s tension, there’s the possibility for arguments. You know how you get sometimes when the frustration builds in your life—maybe you don’t have the money to pay all of your bills, or your kids are acting the fool, driving you crazy, or your spouse or significant other doesn’t understand—or IS the problem. How to communicate during these times of anger and emotion and frustration can be a real big problem.
Conflict and arguments are a natural part of life, but sometimes, for many of us arguments, conflict and tension ARE THE NORMAL way that we try to live. Our lives and houses are filled with angst and cussing. We tiptoe around one another, walking on eggshells trying to keep the peace, or we explode, over everyone!
All my kids were home this weekend, and I woke up this morning with an uncomfortable pressure in my chest. Honestly, I wanted to run away because of all the tension that was going on—everyone in their own way is going through their own transitions in their lives, but collectively when we all got together, you could cut the tension with a knife. My tendency as the “OLD Jennifer” would have been to start screaming and yelling and telling everyone off and to get in line. When my kids were younger, you could always hear me yelling and screaming. I didn’t have any other skillset, but to argue. Eventually I did learn that’s not the best way to talk to those that I say that I love and now the NEW Jennifer stops arguing and starts talking.
We had a huge family meeting—a bearing of our souls—that took place over a few hours today. It was healing.
Arguments, fighting, tension, disagreements are a normal way of life. You know this. It’s how we handle them that becomes critical—especially if we say that we love people that at times we don’t like. How do you disagree without getting into a huge argument with one another? How do you handle difficult situations in your lives with the different personality types that you live with. At our family meeting today all six of our strong, distinct personalities were at the table. Two are analytical, critical, questioning, three are talkers, feelers, not having to necessarily make sense, one can be any combination of all of thee above…it’s not easy disagreeing in my house.
And I know it’s not easy in yours.
That’s why tonight’s show is about STOP Arguing and START Talking. I want you to have the BEST relationships possible, with your family, friends, co-workers, the people in your lives. But frankly in this day and age, I believe we are losing the battles. We don’t know how to constructively express our feelings. We don’t know where to draw the line. We don’t know how to argue or disagree without trying to be RIGHT or to WIN in the conversation. And our relationships are suffering tremendously for it.
The truth is, CONFLICT can bring us closer together.
After our family pow-wow, we went our separate ways and I started preparing for this show. My son came into my office, and said, “We needed that,” and walked away. I burst out laughing because he was right. Disagreements can be the first step in understanding each other better.
It’s time we faced the fact that we DON’T know how to fight. We DON’T know how to argue and still show love. We need to revisit our conflict resolution skills so that we can STOP Arguing and START Talking and have the relationships we desperately want.
Screaming, slamming doors, regretted words…we’re arguing with our spouses, best friends, and children. Do we WANT to get along anymore?
I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT. THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW airs every Sunday from 7-8 pm on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Be sure to download your free ToolKEITT on Stop Arguing Start Talking! It has resources, questions, link and tools to help you communicate better with the people who you love in your life. Visit http://www.jenniferkeitt.com to download.