What is the importance of communication in relationships and what happens when you don’t effectively communicate?
What is the importance of communication in relationships?
Years ago when I was in high school, I had a really good friend. We had established a close bond and spent a great deal of time together. She was someone that I loved being around and we would spend hours laughing and joking whenever possible.
One day, I was in a situation where I needed help with a problem, I went to her and asked her for help. Now mind you, this wasn’t a life for death situation, but I still expected that my friend would come through for me in this moment. After all…we were good friends, right?
Well, long story short, my friend refused to help me with this problem. Even though, I was able to handle the problem on my own, I took her refusal to help to heart. I was very angry about her response.
The Build Up
And being so young at the time, I lacked the emotional intelligence to express how I was feeling. This incident happened at the end of the school year and I had all summer long to replay the incident in my mind and to wallow in my anger… while it continued to fester and growth.
When school resumed in the fall, my anger towards my friend had not gone anywhere. But sadly, I continued to remain “friends” with her while secretly harboring resentment and anger towards her.
Although I tried, I couldn’t mask the resentment and it began to rear it’s nasty head into the corners of our friendship…and things got worse and worse until one day it came to a head.
I finally opened up about why I was so angry with her, but by that time it was too late. Our friendship was never the same after that.
And not only was our friendship ruined, but by the time things came to a head, it was practically the end of the following school year and I was an emotional, mental, and physical wreck.
Harboring all this anger and resentment had not just taken a toll on me emotionally. It consumed my mind, it affected my studies and my ability to focus, it affected my relationship with others because I was constantly wound up and on edge (and at times I would even lash out at others), and I even began to manifest physical symptoms.
I would oftentimes have heart palpitations where I felt my heart would beat out of my chest, and I started to develop a stomach ulcer.
I was a mess.
After this traumatic experience, I vowed to never ever hold my feelings in again.
I promised myself that no matter what, I would always express myself and allow my voice, emotions and feelings to have an outlet.
Reflecting back, I realize that my friend was not a bad person, and she had the right to not assist in that situation. She had stated that she was tired. It was not a life or death situation, and it was something I could have easily handled on my own.
So my goal here is not to villainize her, but rather to say…. that it is important to always express how you feel in a relationship.
If I had just spoken up and told her how I felt, I could have avoided all of the drama that followed.
I also could have salvaged my friendship…and my sanity.
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