I recently read this blog post by my friend Stephanie. Two days later, I was embroiled in a family conflict. I could feel gray hairs popping out from my latest dye job from stress as I thought about Steph’s words. But it was stress I brought on myself.
If I would have communicated better early on, I may not have gotten an upset stomach. Nor would I have been tempted to play the blame game. Or label a certain someone as a bossy brat (even if it is apropos). And perhaps, I wouldn’t have been tempted to become a hermitess and disown certain extended family members (I admit, I muttered, “who needs family?”).
There is a finesse to good communication skills. A person, especially a woman, who takes charge, is quickly labeled with the negative connotation of being “bossy.” I know I’ve done it. Personally, I need to learn positive communication habits. Or in other words, how to say what I want and then hear what I may not want to hear. I believe poor communication habits have led to 90% of the stress in my life. And maybe even my premature gray hair (just kidding, that was genetic).
Perhaps, perfect communication skills will be a key in obtaining the utopian society we all strive for. Until then, in the words of John Mayer, I need to say what I need to say. If I don’t, I can’t blame other people for my stress.