By Felina Silver Robinson
Lately I’ve found that although those that you’re close to tell you they want you to “keep it real” in the relationship you have with them, that’s not at all what they really want. Most of us have feelings about a lot of things which means we are seldom likely to share the same opinions as those we spend most of our time with. Religion, money, raising kids, marriage, relationships, and education are obviously the most common things that people argue about, aside from politics which can often be the elephant in the room. Although conversations can be bumpy, once the they start, I think it’s important to talk them through. None of us like the feeling of unresolved conversation! It’s best to realize what we are uncomfortable with, talk about it until we can’t tolerate it anymore, and then whatever we can’t handle we can break it down into separate conversations. I’ve noticed that people are actually just overwhelmed with so many things that they are uncomfortable with, but when given a chance to break it down they realize that the conversation wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.
There are however subjects that some people, despite how important their topic matter, just won’t agree to discuss, even if it would be helpful. That’s the time you just have to respect each other and know that there are some things you won’t agree on. Relationships are hard enough to keep up without adding yet another thing for the relationship to have to work through.
Different ways to “keep it real” in your life:
1. Be tactfully honest with others about your feelings. Lying about your feelings just makes the relationship more awkward.
2. Make sure the time you spend together whether in discussion, relaxing or going out, that those involved get an equal say in what goes on. It may be helpful to give each person a number so everyone in the group is given a chance to choose the activity or discussion. No one likes or appreciates feeling left out of the conversation or an activity.
3. If there is someone who you don’t want to take part in a specific event or conversation than don’t talk about it in front of them. One of the many keys to a successful relationship of any kind is always being sensitive to the feelings of others.
4. Don’t let your relationship get “stale,” try to add new things to your conversations, try new things, new restaurants, visit new places. Become adventurous!
5. Keep complaining to a minimum and try to find a more subtle way to let someone know that you might be uncomfortable with participating or, if you are plain just not feeling well. Broadcasting such situations may set the wrong tone for a group gathering and it tends to change people’s feelings about those that continuously draw attention to themselves when the attention should be elsewhere. As we all know, there is a right and a wrong time and place for every conversation and every action.