It’s definitely been an interesting 2 months or so for me. In addition to traveling a lot for weddings and a vacation, moving into a new (and better, much better) apartment, I’ve seen a lot professionally as well. Coming off of my so called “failed entrepreneurial experiment,” I really struggled for a little while in terms of where I was headed professionally, which affected my life overall. I really let the fear of the uncertainty get to me, so much in a way it was having an effect on my business partnership, friendships, and most importantly my relationship with Julie. Now 2 months later I feel like I’m in a totally different place..the secret? Talking about it.
It sort of sounds like something you’d expect to hear on Oprah, but it has definitely been true for me. In the past I always believed that the whole reason you talked about something was to find a solution. It turns out that this is not the right perspective. When you’re talking just to seek a solution your conversations are forced and usually focused inward. It’s really hard to hear what the other person is saying when you’re thinking about what you need to fix. Thankfully my friend Jerry has been telling me for awhile now that 1.) I needed to communicate more in my relationships (talk about it) 2.) the purpose of talking is not to solve but to connect. So when it really felt like my business partnership was on the verge of breaking apart, and I found myself talking less and less to my partner Chris, I was reminded of this lesson. Chris and I had several very long conversations where we discussed our lives both professionally and personally. We didn’t find any long term solutions, but we felt much better.
This is even more true in my relationship with my girlfriend Julie. When Julie and I get busy, and we stop communicating normally, and then we are faced with a stressful situation things usually reach a breaking point. Earlier this summer as I was dealing with the stress of the above, and Julie was working nights, and we weren’t communicating normally, and we both were having our fears about the future, things came to a head. As I’ve said before, relationships require effort, and I had been distracted from putting in the effort…so we talked about it, a lot. I feel closer and more connected with her than I ever have I think. We both do. Did we solve everything? No, of course not. But talking about it makes us both feel better, and feel better together, and feeling good with a little time will bring the solutions as well. Talk to learn, explore, connect, and communicate..don’t talk to find solutions. The solutions will come.
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