Hug it Out.... (Come clean and breathe)
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
I don't generally spend much time, here, discussing interpersonal communication, even though it is one of my main concerns. But last night I attended a very large gathering of my industry peers, which garnered a perfect story to share.
I wound up speaking to a man with whom, 45 years ago, I spent a lot of time... arguing. Loudly. Over work issues. Almost daily. At work.
I'm going to guess that you don't get the opportunity to have screaming fights with people while you are at work. In full disclosure, we work in studios which are soundproof. So we can really tear into each other, and the others only hear the muffled madness.
Nonetheless after 45 years I saw him last night. Initially, it was the usual polite pleasantries. We acted as if there was no animosity between us.
And in essence, there is not. In my industry there's quite a bit of rancor among colleagues. We all have soundproof studios, after all...
This person, let's call him Peter...Peter and I talked for a while... long enough for us to get to finally express a little... Truth.
His daughter, Ashley happened to be there, and Peter introduced me to her. Eventually I used that opportunity to explain the situation to her. I told her that we used to fight so hard and so loudly that I would see stars in front of my eyes. I asked Ashley if she had ever seen a Warner Brothers cartoon with a character getting hit in the head and seeing cartoon stars.
I said that it wasn't until I met her father that I understood what that was about.
I was asked if I knew why this arguing went on as it did. I told Peter that I realized at one point many years ago, that I was able to push his buttons somehow, and he would lose his mind over it.
He did not seem surprised to hear that.
I doubt seriously if I intended to be that person. I did not realize he even had buttons. I really didn't know him at all back then. I probably didn't know people HAD buttons. I was only 19.
But last night we hashed it out, extremely successfully, and now we are going to communicate every week on an on-going industry-related ZOOM project.
He expressed sorrow at having created that toxic atmosphere. He expressed admiration for my work, which I assure you I do not deserve. He regrets having been the person he was, and having treated me the way that he did.
I love the sincerity. I love the honesty. And I'm over the moon because of the way this has turned out.
I can't really describe how happy it makes me, to be able to get passed negativity. And to be able to have that conversation with someone.
I'm still ebullient at it’s accomplishment.
Truth makes you happy!
I don't understand why as humans, we don't endeavor to have the hard conversations, and we don't know how to overcome our natural, and very powerful instincts to avoid something, or lie.. about nothing.
Television sitcoms are rife with husbands who lie to their wives, about something trite and trivial, and ultimately get caught.
Lying, or avoiding the truth, is baked in to our genetics, it would seem.
It's so much easier to lie, or not to deal with the actual truth, then it is to parse through feelings and be honest with someone.
And lying or avoiding, often presents the opportunity to skip 'getting in trouble' when the truth is less than optimal.
Even though we know the virtues of honesty, and the pitfalls of dishonest. We immediately jump to a lie. Or the avoidance of the truth.
So in my quest to find Truth, I'd like to suggest this.... All it takes is a bit of forethought, and a caring heart.
“How could I benefit from being honest, and forthright, about this?” “Do I really want to risk hurting this person by deceiving them?”
The best choice will preserve and/or improve the integrity of a relationship.
You’ll never feel closer to someone you love, than when you bond in honesty.
Live and be where the Truth is. Like the babies do :-)