Are you upset with me?

When one is quiet, do we automatically think they need to contemplate a matter while taking time to process their feelings and emotions? Are we sensitive to their requests? Do we honor their desire not to communicate with anyone at the moment? What if they aren’t talking because they are depressed and isolating? Is it up to someone else to come along side them and try to persuade them to get involved with people and socialize? When someone is quiet, are we secure enough in our relationship with them that we do not need reassurance that they are not upset with us? When addressing the issue of communicating, there are many dynamics involved. Listening is one part of communicating with each other, whether loved ones, friends, acquaintances and strangers. It is important to be available to listen to the message someone is trying to convey. I wonder why we belittle the need for silence. Can we hear when there are no words spoken? I believe we can. As far as communicating, what happens when we the “silent treatment”? There is a difference between the silent treatment (punishment) vs. hearing desired silence. When that is the case, are we considerate and understanding? Do we see clearly when a loved one has a need to withdraw momentarily while adjusting to new data input, or external challenges? When observing behavior changes, with strained communication, walls up and the words spoken are guarded, what is our response? Is there a natural tendency to question if something was said or done that offended the other? “Are they upset with me”? “I don’t understand, why they aren’t talking to me anymore”? What did I do wrong? These are natural thoughts for many.There are times when a situation occurs where forgiveness needs to take place in order to have the relationship restored. Knowing which is which can be very difficult. It is important to discern the difference correctly and then act accordingly. Our willingness to listen, communicate or wait patiently are key components to every successful relationship.

2 thoughts on “Are you upset with me?

  1. My best friend, who I’ve known since we were thirteen, was so much like me. We shared a love of the same music, sports, movies and more; and yet we were so different. He was street smart; I was naïve. He was quick to laugh; I was reserved. He joined the glee club because he loved to sing; I had a girlfriend – who took up my time. He joined the Marines and went to Viet Nam; I joined the protests against that damned war. We stayed in touch through those early years, but then he disappeared. Years later he contacted me and we hit it off like old times; but a couple years later he was nowhere to be found. A few years ago he looked up my folks and we reconnected. He looked great, a little less hair, and so proud of his children and grandchildren. We had the Internet now, and it was easier to stay in touch. Six months later he sent me an email to say he was suffering from PTSD, that he had caused his family great harm, and that he needed to sever our ties. He never answered my emails after that revelation and statement. That was four years ago. For all those who like to romanticize war and are so eager to start another one, I’d like them first to consider the human cost: the PTSD time bombs that will return to live among us.

  2. I can say I understand the pain of your loss, yet those words would only ring shallow. We all have been robbed at times of the love and kindred spirit of a friend due to divorce, war, or death. When we are not able to communicate with each other, for whatever reason, our heart aches. If only we could have said the right words perhaps things would have been different. Maybe we could have helped if we only knew earlier. Questions bombard our mind, how did this happen? Why does it have to be this way now? We have a deep longing to say one more word, or even goodbye when a loved one dies unexpectedly. Our desire to share our thoughts and emotions and to communicate with another is very powerful. When we are denied that ability, it is painful. When a friendship disappears, although time passes, the pain remains. Hope springs eternal, perhaps things will change and once again there will be a surprise phone call, or a letter in the mail. I have heard of many people connecting together after many years on Facebook. Yet, I also know there are many who have been deeply wounded and can not communicate with those they love. I personally know the physical and emotional damages from the war. I too hate those who literally destroyed the lives of the multitudes and their families due to their war games and greed for money and power. Even now, I suffer from the effects of PTSD, as well as my children from first hand experiences of my husbands horrendous experience in war. Knowing I can not change history, I have determined I will reach out and enjoy the ability to communicate with those I can love and trust while I am here and free to do so.

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