Communication is one of the building blocks of a healthy relationship. People don’t know what we do not tell them. I don’t know any mind readers. In an age where people prefer to talk about people behind their back rather than to their face, God gives us better counsel. He says, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go directly to them in love. Make sure you check yourself (make sure your spirit is right) and you are not in sin, then gently go talk to your brother or sister.” It does not say, “Push that person into the dirt, shame them, call them names, or be mean spirited.” It also does not say “go tell everyone except the person you have the problem with.”
I had a lady once who all of a sudden started treating me poorly. She did not tell me anything. She just acted funny. Years later, after she processed her issues she randomly said to me, “We are good now. I processed my issues with you and we are good.” The problem was I never knew there was an issue. She was upset because I was receiving certain attention from a particular ministry that rejected her. I was clueless. I only knew what she showed me.
I also had an instance with a gentleman I was trying to serve and love as a brother in Christ who took my sisterly love as romantic. He treated me poorly. I was trying to fulfill John 13:34-35. He saw it as me chasing him, which I did not, for girlfriend status. He never communicated to me his perceptions. He kept inviting me places then ignoring me when I got there. I thought the invitations to group things were invitations for friendship. He told others how he felt. He never honored me enough to ask me questions or talk to me. So others talked about me behind my back with false understandings of my intentions. One brave person told me what was going on so I could move away from this person and stop trying to be his friend. In hindsight, I should have stopped initiating kindness the first time he ignored me. People show us how they feel about us with their actions.
Over the course of my life, I have lived through the “friends” who talked about me instead of to me. I will tell you it is impossible to build a relationship with someone who is not honest and does not communicate. It is challenging to trust people who talk about people all the time behind their back. If they gossip to you or talk badly about others, they will gossip about you or do the same to you. I ask people, “Have you talked to this person, or are you just venting to me? They don’t know you are upset if you do not communicate.” I don’t purposely befriend people for close relationships who prefer to talk about people rather than talk to them. Why? It is not healthy.
Every relationship I have ended, I had a conversation with the person, if I could and it was safe to do so. I have had a few stalkers and hostile people, they get blocked and reported if they refuse to respect boundaries.
Healthy communication builds bridges and can save relationships. Talk it out.
Sometimes we just are not a great fit, even in circles of faith. That’s okay. Sometimes that person just fades out of our life. Seasons change. Yet I did not just disappear and never say anything.
Every person, if I could and it was wisdom, I had an issue with I approached directly in love (either in writing (I process best in written form) or phone or in person). Why? Because people cannot read our minds. Sometimes people are clueless how their behavior impacts others. What we refuse to discuss festers in our souls. People also treat us how we let them. People don’t know our boundaries if we do not set them.
Maybe there is someone to reach out to have a conversation, clear the air, cut the ties, build a bridge, or just to move along.
I appreciate greatly the people in my life who were courageous enough to communicate. A few have had the wrong spirit or absolutely the wrong perception, yet even ungodly feedback can be taken to God. “God what they see is not what happened, yet it bothered someone greatly so I take full responsibility for any unintentional harm. I repent to see my brother or sister healed. If I hurt or harmed someone on accident, I still take responsibility and take their concerns under consideration.”
In order to build any healthy relationship with God or anyone else it requires communication and honesty. I don’t do pretend. I won’t smile in your face and talk nasty about you to everyone and their momma. Why? Because love is authentic and cares about your reputation. Love cares about you!
May we communicate. How has communication helped your relationships? Are you communicating to the right people?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!