Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

There are a couple of adages that come to my mind today that, I think, apply to many people's lives. Those are "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry" and "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". We've all been in a situation where we plan to do something, have it all laid out, and the result is nowhere near the one that we had hoped for. Why? Because we never accounted for the intangibles. In a perfect world, everything would go as planned. Since we don't live in a perfect world, we have to contend with those things that derail our plans. We can either walk away, or make adjustments. Personally, I'm someone who likes to make adjustments. Adaptability is a good trait to have. It will help you in many aspects of your life.

As for the road to hell being paved with good intentions, in your heart, you know what you are trying to accomplish. What problem could that possibly cause? Well, unless you express yourself and your intentions in a clear manner that can be understood by all, your actions can be misconstrued. The hell part comes in when you try to backtrack and explain yourself after the misunderstanding has occurred. At the root of this is communication. We've been conditioned to hold in how we really feel about the things that other people do if what they're doing rubs us the wrong way. Wouldn't want to upset the apple cart! Unfortunately, we can't hold it in forever and there's always something that manifests itself as the last straw. Once the dam has been broken, the feelings come spewing out, unfiltered and oftentimes in a very hurtful way. When that happens, it causes more of a problem than the other party may have originally believed existed. Tact and diplomacy are two things that are essential in effective communication. They eliminate unnecessarily hurt feelings and help an issue to be resolved in an expedient manner.

If you have a problem with someone or something that they've done, let them know as soon as you possibly can. Don't let it fester until it boils over. Of course emotions will be running high, but try to keep them in check and discuss the problem in a calm and rational way. Taking jabs at the other person may make you feel better in the moment, but it will continue to escalate the situation, when it should be moving in the other direction. I'm a very sensitive person who cares deeply about other people, which causes me to be hurt more than most. I used to wonder how anyone could do or say the things that others have to hurt me, but then I realized that not everyone is like me. Maybe I didn't communicate my wants or needs clearly and effectively. If I did, then I know that nothing I do or say is going to change the situation, so I just move on. Learn from the experience; put it behind you; and you'll be ready if it happens again.

1 comment:

  1. Very wise advice. I have always held to the 30-second rule... by this I mean that when I'm about to say something hurtful or in the heat of the moment, I pause for 30 seconds to ensure I've phrased it in a kindly way instead of saying something that might cause the friendship to blow up.

    Good job on this article....!!!