Have you ever been talking to a friend, coworker or lover and felt like you weren’t getting through?
No matter how you rephrase and repackage what you are trying to say, they just can’t seem to grasp it. It’s not that your point is complicated or difficult. It’s just that—for whatever reason—the conversation is simply not working.
Maybe they’re from a different planet. Heck, maybe you are, and you don’t know it. Maybe men really are from Mars and women from Venus. Maybe it’s simply a case of the blues. Or, perhaps, neither of you are morning people.
Regardless, the question remains: what do you do when you are speaking to someone about something important, and they just aren’t getting it? Is it your way, or the highway?
Do you put your foot down, cross your arms and announce how the world works? Or do you try to find that special ground where you are free to agree or disagree? Or, do you insist on your point, but try—again and again, if necessary—to reach your friend, co-worker or lover? Perhaps a different turn of phrase will help? Maybe a different metaphor will allow them to see what you’re saying? Or maybe more information? Or perhaps a sense of humor to lighten the mood and maybe, just maybe, lift the curtains on a dark stage and flood the idea with light?
Regardless, the one thing you don’t want to do is throw your hands up in despair and say “Never mind!”
Life is simply too short, and ideas are simply too important, to avoid difficult nut-cracking and conversation sawing. The best way to build friendships and long-standing relationships that are truly constructive is to invite others to see ideas from different vantage points. After all, isn’t this part of what you love in others: When they help you see a truth in a new light?
None of us need to say “it’s my way or the highway.”
Sherri Rosen is now living in Harlem, New York. She has had her own publicity business for 12 years giving a powerful voice to people who are doing good things in the world. She writes on her own blog at www.SherriRosen.com, www.GateKeepersPost.com, www.Triiibes.com, www.Examiner.com and www.TheGoodMenProject.com.
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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