Picture the scene: rolling hills in various shades of green, embracing a soft valley as its river gently meanders through. Trees stand here and there as sentinels at their various posts. Their charge? A magnificent golden edifice hundreds of years old. The location? Chatsworth House, […]
A fairly recent realisation for me is that so many of life’s woes stem from miscommunication.
I strongly believe very few people are malicious by nature. We don’t usually go out of our way to make other people’s lives a misery – although I can’t deny I’m sure some people do.
It’s very easy to prejudge, fly off the handle and become self-righteous. We fervently defend our own position when feeling slighted.
Stop. Take some time. Relax yourself and slow your thoughts. Think through the other person’s perspective. Why did they say what they said? Why did they treat you the way they did? As I’ve said, it’s not often through deliberately wanting to hurt us. It’s frequently their own defence mechanism.
Maybe we made a comment that sounded judgemental. It most likely wasn’t meant that way. If the other person took it that way, then just apologise for the misunderstanding and explain.
If you’re the other person, be open to the idea of miscommunication. Listen to an explanation and accept your friend or loved one’s honesty. Why would they be lying to you? If they’d meant to offend, surely they’d leave you upset?
Plans can easily go awry as well. How often has someone had to cancel at the last minute? I know I’ve done it to others, and I know other people have done it to me. It can be extremely frustrating. Take a while to consider why someone else has done it. There will normally be a valid reason (illness, anxiety, family circumstances, lack of cash). If there genuinely isn’t, we recognise these individuals and we deal with them the best way we can.
Don’t be quick to assume. Remember the Rule of Miscommunication, and work hard to communicate better. When there is miscommunciation, act fast to rectify it. After all, all relationships need to be built on truth and trust. Good communcation is essential to that.
A good friend once said to me she admired my courage. This wasn’t because I was forging ahead. It was because I was ready to give up. I think a lot of us feel it’s a sin and shameful to “throw in the towel”. Often this is the more difficult, more necessary act. It often leads to the greater good too.
I imagine all of us will encounter a situation where giving up and moving on is an option. Always consider whether it could be the best option for you. Chances are that others will recommend you carry on regardless. Listen to them by all means. Always remember to follow your gut instinct though.
I’ve had a couple of key instances where I was ready to give up, and it took a lot of courage to do so.
Being taught not to teach
The first circumstance was when I was teaching. This was something others said I’d be good at. I was told it would be a stable career with many benefits. I was struggling to find other work and decided teaching would be a great use of my creativity. It didn’t work out that way though. I hated the administrative side, which sapped my creative energies. The planning and marking took hours. The levels we assigned to the students were manipulated to make the schools look better. Finally, I had no skills in discipline and crowd control of disengaged and disrespectful teenagers. I tried many tactics, read books, sought advice. I tried different institutions. In the end I was signed off with anxiety and panic disorder. A brutal end to the career, but one that I should have seen coming.
I gave up teaching at that point, and would never go back again. Yet, from there, I managed to get a job at the local hospital which I enjoyed. I started saving again for the first time in years, had time to myself after work, and had friendly colleagues.
Leave as loving yourself
The second situation was different in that it was personal. I once pursued a relationship which I now see wasn’t right. At the time it’s easy to make excuses, to paper over the cracks, to focus on any positive points. Underneath, I think the tension and the unhappiness was bubbling away. I should have left. It had to come to the other person cheating on me for a change to take place. The relationship ended.
Without giving this relationship up when I did, I would never have met Matt. We share so many great experiences, whether it’s the National Trust properties we visit, the TV shows we watch or the long walks we go on together.
Change is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes change only comes from being ready to give up. Have the courage when times call for that change. The likelihood is that amazing things will happen after.
A caveat: I’m not instructing you to give up immediately. Try to consider every option available. There are usually some other routes you should test beforehand.
A seemingly self-indulgent 30 by 30 lesson this time. The message: develop your own sense of validation. In no way whatsoever self-indulgent. What does that mean? Several years ago I read a book detailing how girls are intrinsically motivated, meaning they work hard for […]
No, I’m not writing about politics. Push Brexit far to the back of your mind. In this post I want to mention my thoughts on developing independence. How to develop independence There are different means of developing independence. The method we choose depends upon […]
We’re all capable of learning new skills and knowledge, and should never be limited. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t do. Likewise, don’t inhibit yourself. However, over thirty years I’ve discovered that the most effective way of working and living is to work with your abilities. By that, I mean your natural aptitude.
Whether you believe in God, Fate or genetics, we’re all endowed from an early age with a forte or several.
Through secondary school we have to study a broad range of subjects. Some come more easily than others, although without access to such a spectrum, we could miss out on our strengths and weaknesses. The fun begins at GCSE, then after, when we really begin to analyse what we enjoy and what we don’t. What we can and can’t do more easily.
I was in my mid-teens when I found I love languages and their grammar and etymologies. This was nurtured even more by my GCSE French teacher. Unfortunately I let it slip for A-level, even though I studied other subjects I found appealing (History, Geography and Biology). I still love to read about history in my spare time. I was fortunate enough to notice my natural tendency towards languages when in my first year at Lancaster University, hence why I’ve got a degree in French and Italian. I went with the flow and managed to get an evening course GCSE in Spanish later too.
On the flip side, while unemployed after graduation, I found out I enjoy cooking, baking and gardening as well. I don’t mean to sound bigheaded, but I think I do these pretty well. I’d say these three are further fortes of mine, albeit with more trial and error than my degree. After all, I had tutors for the latter!
Even before any of my formal education began, I became an avid reader. I could just as often be found reading as playing with toys. It wasn’t long before I began to write my own stories, accompanied by sketches. My poor parents ended up with home-bound (read: stapled) books piling up in their dressing table drawers.
I’m now loving writing about gardens, as much as I get a kick from cooking and baking for friends and family. I fill my time with these things as far as possible.
Grammar, writing, gardening, cooking and baking – all give me pleasure and through this, all come more easily. I would advise anyone to assess seriously what their natural capabilities are. Those which please you most should be pursued. Make a career from them. If you love something, you’ll make it work. Work with your abilities!