When is the last time you absolutely dreaded a conversation? I mean, ache in the stomach, sweaty palms, wishing-you-were-on-a-sunny-beach somewhere-not-here…feeling?? Maybe it is a work-related scuffle with a co-worker, or giving someone bad news, or admitting you’ve made a mistake, or calling someone out on an important issue, or finally coming clean about something?
There are all sorts of reasons we get anxious about conversations. We anticipate what might be said, what we will say in response or in defense. We fear different outcomes. We fear the “not yet known.” We fear things won’t be the same, or will be the same, despite the difficult conversation. I think that is one of the many reasons why Facebooking, emailing and texting is so popular. If you don’t have to face that person, if you don’t have to see their reaction and emotions, it makes it easier on you (and maybe them). But sometimes there is no option – in person it is.
Whether it is anticipated or we are blindsided, whether it is work or personal, life-changing or about laundry-changing, with people we know well or barely know…there can be different levels of anxiety.
How do we prepare for those anticipated scary conversations? How do we suit ourselves for being ready on the spot for the unanticipated scary confrontations?
I have one of those anticipated, scary conversations coming up this week. I am analyzing, role-playing, imagining words that might come up, preparing for the worst, praying that I can take the high road instead of saying something I might regret.
I am clinging to a verse I heard today at my church home:
1Peter 3:9: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Our God knows the whole story. He knows what’s been said and done, and what you want to say! He knows your heart, your worth (beyond measure!) and he wants good for you and has good in store for you.
This week, I must remember this and just breathe. I must offer a blessing instead of being defensive or insulting. Can I really do this?? Can I?? I will have to let you know if I did!
Take the high road. Always take the high road. Bless others instead of insulting them. It’s hard. It’s reeeeally hard sometimes. I’ve not always been successful at it. Because we are not always successful at these things, God provides ways to remind us and equip us. Seeking encouraging verses from the Bible, attending church, calling loyal friends who remind us to do good, and keep us on that high road.
For those times when we are blindsided by confrontations: breathe. Clench your fists and pray for silence while we let those emotions fly in our mind…until we can say something in response that is calm and less impulsive…and maybe even, a blessing. While this is very hard, when you’re not sure you can do it, when you’ve got a million things going on in your life and you don’t need this chaos…..JUST BREATHE. Then, thank God for that ability to inhale and exhale…and even bless someone in the hardest of situations.
Breathe – Jonny Diaz -If you need a reminder this week to “Breathe”….listen to this and read the words. I’ll bet you can totally relate.