Clearing the air…

by Rod Smith

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the atmosphere in a family (business, school, church) can become tense, even threatening. When deceit is tolerated, necessary conflicts are avoided, and when people are regarded as possessions, rather than as separate, unique, and valued people, the accompanying stresses can give rise to aggressive and passive-aggressive behaviors of avoidance and sabotage. At best, under such circumstances, life can feel like a tiring game of hide and seek. Alleviate some of the intensity (given there is no infidelity or gross misbehaviors occurring) by:

1. Talking about the matters that are the most difficult to talk about. Let the strongest person, the one who is most aware of the need to clear the air, call attention to the need to talk about the very fact that matters are difficult to discuss.
2. Talking about your own behavior and not about the behavior of others.
3. Taking responsibility for your part in the difficulties.
4. Being willing to live with a degree of helpful compromise.
5. Forgiving others without requiring others to beg for forgiveness.

(posted in Taiwan)

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