Talk to me: no invitation necessary

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I’ve never liked confrontation. Yet, avoidance is seldom the best solution. Perhaps today you’re embroiled in a gross misunderstanding. Maybe you’ve been wounded or your words or actions have hurt someone else. One friend of mine—rather than confront a misunderstanding—oftentimes requires an invitation, of sorts, to re-establish the lines of communication. However, this only serves to foster discord. Although I’m the first in line to minimize conflict whenever possible, I don’t require an invitation to initiate a dialog. For example, I’m always willing to provide clarification or nip an assumption in the bud. OK, except between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., or while I’m hiking or writing or practicing yoga or it’s “Friday pizza movie night.” When misunderstandings occur (because they will), I’d like to suggest a tactic rooted in gentleness, kindness and love: that we proactively seek to facilitate a pathway toward common ground. We may have to agree to disagree. But at least we’re talking.

Who do you need to reach out to today?

Looks can be deceiving

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

We simply assume that the way we see things
is the way they really are or the way they should be.
And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.
~ Steven R. Covey

According to Urban Dictionary, when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Unfortunately, I’m typically the single most “ass” involved in many equations.  For example, about a month ago, one of my friends mentioned something during our conversation and, instead of asking for clarification or paraphrasing for comprehension (which is something I always recommend), I went off “half-cocked” and assumed I already knew what they were talking about.  I believe it’s human nature to sometimes hear what we want to hear, our minds made up in advance as to the outcome.  But perhaps a majority of misunderstandings could be prevented if we all took the time to set aside our own agendas, biases and self-centered attitudes to really listen.  Before we regret our behavior.

Have you been presumptuous lately?