Directness

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Patria
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Directness
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
You are reading from the book
The Language of Letting Go

Directness

"So much of our communication can reflect our need to control. We say what we think others want to hear. We try to keep others from getting angry, feeling afraid, going away, or disliking us. But our need to control traps us into feeling like victims and martyrs.

"Freedom is just a few words away. Those words are our truths. We can say what we need to say. We can gently, but assertively, speak our mind.

"Let go of your need to control. We do not need to be judgmental, tactless, blaming, or cruel when we speak our truths. Neither do we need to hide our light. Let go, and freely be who you are.

"Today, I will be honest with others, and myself knowing that if I don't, my truth will come out some other way."

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie (c)1990,

Patria
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For me, restraint of tongue

For me, restraint of tongue and pen has been a lot better than speaking anything out. I'm not 100% good at that, but it's a great goal and am trying to (with HP's help) be balanced in all things, including the need to say my mind.

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This is one of the things I

This is one of the things I need to work on. Sometimes my sense of humor comes flowing out of me and it offends people. A lot of my humorous reactions are to cover up my real feelings about things. But I never want to lose that crazy, funny part of myself...I just need to learn know when to use it and when not to.

I'm also working on not spewing my opinions so quickly and I'm trying to really listen to others' first and respond with respect. I'm not always good at this but can I please have an A for trying?? :D

Patria
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I don't want you to lose

I don't want you to lose that crazy humor either. I love humor. It's what keeps us sane while the program clicks in.

You get an A.

Scott
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Hear, here! From Al-Anon:

Hear, here!

From Al-Anon: "Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't be mean when you say it."

When I need to say something difficult that I feel upset about, I can have much fear about saying it in a mean way or the other person hearing it that way. I often imagine it happening that way... and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I've learned some tricks for this. Like, striving for total detachment from the outcome of the other person's reaction. Instead of striving for an outcome of how the other person reacts or behaves (which is part of my insanity, and part of the larger culture's insanity) I strive for the outcome of my behavior: a calm, respectful, honest, non-sugar-coated statement of my truth with an attitude of complete acceptance for the entire range of the other's possible reactions. And I can visualize this scenario, instead of counter-productively visualizing the thing that I don't want to happen.

A key part of this approach is knowing what "my truth" is. To figure it out, I include my thoughts, assumptions and feelings and clearly state them so: "I thought...", "I assumed...", "I felt..." And if I imagined the other person did such-and-such, I don't say "You did such-and-such!" I say, "I imagined you were doing such-and-such." If I made up a story about the situation (which we all do, almost all the time) I do my best to own it as my story and show openness to understanding the reality and the other person better.

An unhelpful expection I might have is to expect that my transparent honesty will inspire transparent honesty in the other person. Sometimes, this does happen. Often, it does not. I try to be open and accepting to all reactions and not take them personally.

What you feed grows, and what you starve withers away.

Patria
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Scott wrote: striving for
Scott wrote:

striving for total detachment from the outcome of the other person's reaction. Instead of striving for an outcome of how the other person reacts or behaves (which is part of my insanity, and part of the larger culture's insanity) I strive for the outcome of my behavior: a calm, respectful, honest, non-sugar-coated statement of my truth with an attitude of complete acceptance for the entire range of the other's possible reactions.

I loved your entire post, Scott.

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone that went horribly wrong. I was upset about it but decided to defer the "conversation autopsy" after I had a nap. I did have a nap from about 3:00 to about 9pm (good grief that was a long nap), so haven't gone through the conversation yet.

I need to find out where I was at fault, what my expectations were, what character defects of my own were in action, and what I could do to improve conversations in the future. Because I do not feel that the other person did anything wrong; it was something in me.

The 12 and 12 of AA says "whenever we are disturbed, there is something wrong in us..." that always needs looking at. Total detachment means if someone else gets upset, and I am keeping my side of the street clean, then I won't get upset too. So since I got upset also, I need to see what I did that needs looking at.

Today, going out with friends for lunch so will dissect conversation when I get back.

I do get caught up in unhelpful expectations--often. A lot of my own problems lately stem from not getting enough rest, or allowing myself to just grieve and stop pretending I can do everything I used to do.

Thanks Scott.

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