Someone with whom I am very close finally had an overdue conversation with someone and said some things that really needed saying. Afterwards her relief was written all over her face and could be heard in her voice. It was good, she realized, to finally have it said and done.
Something about a relationship is not working out well for one or the other person. Or something stands between two married people or two friends or two family members. Maybe something one person said is stuck in the other’s craw and blocking everything else out.
It is almost always the case in such situations that something needs to be said between the two people involved if a relationship is to be preserved and have a chance of flourishing. The cost of not speaking is high. A stuck relationship going nowhere. Anxiety, awkwardness between the two persons, and ultimately the risk of resentment and permanent damage to the relationship and serious pain to one or both of the two people involved.
Yet we so often hesitate to say to the other person things that need to be said in such situations. We worry we might hurt their feelings. Or we don’t want to risk them getting angry with us. Or we become concerned with what other people will think if they knew we feel a certain way.
But the thing is, the fear and worry is often far worse than the reality. When we finally say what we have to say – assuming we manage to say what we need to with love and sensitivity – the relationship can go on, can get unstuck from the muck in which it was mired, and can grow.
Said and done can bring a lot of relief.