So often communication fails because people don’t address the problem directly. And it causes problems. Yesterday I posted something in a forum I belong to. It was entirely misunderstood, the person who started the thread was horribly offended and quit the community (despite having been an active member for some time). I consider her a friend, I have met her in real life. When I was informed by a moderator of this, I really thought I had lost it. I truly had no idea what I might have said that was so offensive. The thread had been removed. I really wondered if something was seriously wrong with me- I know sometimes I have posted things that might be offensive to some, but yesterday, NOTHING. Yet she was upset enough to quit! After really stretching my brain, I figured it had to be something I said about writers. I am on a (different) writer’s forum and we were having a discussion about how I think young people are less well educated than prior generations. In particular we were discussing things like spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence usage and so on. Quite a number of folks (these are WRITERS, or aspiring writers) felt that those details were not very relevant. I pointed out that you could be a good writer and not know those things, but you would then get them fixed by proofreaders and editors. But several felt it wasn’t necessary. Anyway, this woman is a writer and homeschooler. I had pointed out in my writer’s group that homeschooling is one possible solution to some for children to learn proper grammar, etc. But I was really lamenting (and judging) writers who choose to ignore some of those basics. Apparently whatever I said, however I phrased it (her thread had to do with why she homeschools) she took to mean I was referring to her, directly. (She is a good writer, she knows about grammar and all.) It bothers me a great deal to have offended her.
So, I lost her email (computer failure a few months back), I am trying to (and will) contact her to try to amend things. But it would have been so much better had she contacted me right away and said, “Hey, you are terrible to say something like that!” Perhaps she was hurt and just wanted to retreat. But I’ll bet she lost sleep over it last night, and I can’t concentrate today because I’m thinking of it. I take full responsibility for my words, and am sorry they were misunderstood.
How many times are we hurt and never go to the source and work it out? Possibly many times you did understand the other person, and the hurt was valid. I have seen in some families DECADES of not talking/ communicating because of things said (or done). I’m not suggesting we allow ourselves to be doormats, but I think it is good to go to the source and try to figure things out.
Say a prayer for me today, and my friend.