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TheRootDC
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Posted at 04:47 PM ET, 09/26/2011

The importance of talking openly

Frustrated by the way the conversation was going – I realized I hadn’t gotten a word in for the last 10 minutes. Thoughts of hanging up the phone lunged back in forth in my mind. I could easily escape this tired tirade of “what I didn’t do and how I needed to be more sensitive” by easily agreeing with her – long enough to regain the peace that I was slowly losing. I wasn’t ready to exercise the time I know it would take to make things right.

My selfishness persisted and I interrupted her in mid-sentence vociferously to say, “Let’s talk about this another time.” The elongated silence that followed felt like hours and since no one seemed to be making the first move, I ended the conversation. While I felt relieved and could slowly feel my peace ebbing back – in my heart of hearts I knew we hadn’t resolved anything!

Men have a tendency of putting things off for tomorrow, what things we could rightfully solve today. I’m not referring to getting a flat tire changed, paying the utility bill or arranging reservations for the boxing match in Las Vegas; what I am referring to is matters of the heart.

Because men have a disadvantage in the sense that traditionally we have been taught not to talk about “how we feel” longer than a few short breaths, this tradition has been affecting all of our relationships; more especially with women! And yet, we are quick to blame our relational conflicts on women solely, when in retrospect there are some things about us that we are not comfortable discussing, so instead we place little value on “emotional” conversations or we put them off until later (but secretly thinking we never want to discuss them). “When is later?” she asks. Well, later is just that...later.

The interesting dynamic about later that I have come to realize in allof my previous relationships is, later does not exist. Later does not exist, it never has, and never will. There is only today!

And no I am not subscribing that you have to have that hard conversation right now, but instead of saying later (without any intention on having it), you need to set a time period that you plan on finishing the conversation – and stick to it!

Men come across as insensitive when it comes to “emotional” conversations because we never set a time to discuss it later, but simply dismiss it as if it has no relevancy in our lives. It does have relevancy because those simple arguments that have simple solutions are the bridge over troubled waters for future arguments. Arguments and disagreements are inevitable and if you have become so accustomed to not finding solutions to your arguments, your growth and progression in your relationship will soon reach a plateau.

But if you begin to recognize that there is no better time than NOW, your philosophy on arguments will change. You will no longer feel cornered into thinking that you have to have the right response right now, but instead you will feel liberated knowing you can set a time to discuss it later and during that time spend the moments you need for self-reflection.

Tomorrow doesn’t exist because when tomorrow comes, it will be another today and so will the next day. All of tomorrows will eventually turn into another today. There is never anything but today – so today (at some point) have the conversation she wants to have, the conversation you need to have, so that you both will have what you both desire – a relationship built on strong communication!

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By Jason Ottley  |  04:47 PM ET, 09/26/2011

Categories:  The Root DC Live

 
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