Monday, February 12, 2007

If You Love Someone, Tell Them

Time for a little reflection...

Over the past 4 1/2 years, I've undergone some massive personality changes. Some of them are good changes and some are most definitely not. When I graduated from high school, I was a girl who got along with everyone and never had trouble making friends, but I tended to follow the crowd and let other people decide what I was going to do. I rarely planned things or initiated activities. To sum up my personality in one word, I was extremely passive. I didn't know how to seek out what I wanted, I was constantly being pushed to and fro by others, and I never let people see my inner self and how I felt.

Somewhere along the line all that changed. I became someone who could tell people what I thought and wanted. I frequently express love for those I cherish dearly, appreciation for those who have influenced my life for the better, and admiration for people that I respect. Likewise, I am usually able to express my frustrations, sadnesses, and disappointments. I believe in communicating with emotional honesty and conversations built upon mutual respect and love.

Such communication is ideal, but I am starting to realize that it is not always possible. Communication cannot be one sided. If one of the parties is emotionally repressed, unwilling, or somewhat passive, emotional honesty can become a colossal challenge. Instead of freely expressing love, praise, and appreciation, I become apt to hide my feelings. Ashamed that I have the tendency to express them so frequently while the other party never does so. Instead of being able to deal with feelings of frustration, sadness, and disappointment in an adult manner, I become inclined to act in a passive-aggressive manner and/or more frustration ensues due to oppressed emotions.

There is no easy solution to this problem. Nope. I can't make others deal with things from an open and rational perspective, but I can hold myself up to this standard and never waver. From this point forward, I will in no way let others make me feel ashamed of my feelings, nor will I let people elicit the passive-aggressive end of my personality. I am committing myself anew to the mature expression of my thoughts and feelings. Problems are best dealt with before they are allowed to fester and grow into anger and bitterness. Love and appreciation are best built upon the expression of said emotions. If you love someone, tell them.

9 comments:

Bawdy said...

Jenny,
I completely agree with you. Communication is an amazing thing that is so underrated! I understand the frustration of being unable to openly communicate and share with others, Not b/c of your unwillingness, but b/c of theirs. I fully support you in your new pursuit! I think that it shows that you have obviously found out something that others struggle to see in life. And basically that's why you're the bomb.
Have a Great day!!

heidikins said...

Thank you for sharing this. You have somehow articulated a blurry fuzz I've been trying to define for weeks.

xox

Andrea Jolene said...

Amen sister. If there's one thing I take away from Shakespeare - is that communication really is key to success or failure...or laughter for that matter. :)All of his plots in both tragedies and comedies have one importan key element - the lack of communication to elicit humor, or cause great catastrophe. As for telling someone you love that you love them...the jury is still out ;) Unless it's mom!! I love mom!!

SpyderWeiss said...

Best advice you ever gave me Jenny, thanks to my own courage and your advice, I'm now dating Anna. Funny that you gave me this advice several months ago, and you finally decided to blog about it now :)

SpyderWeiss said...

By the way, I cleaned up my girls post at your request, and at the request of my conscience.

JenKneeBee said...

A.J. - Part of what I mean when I say tell someone you love them is that there are many, many ways to do so. A phone call, note in the mail, some small act of kindness.... It goes on and on. I never want people to be unclear about how much I care about them.

Stacy said...

Great post! I'm pretty passive and struggle with communication a lot.

SpyderWeiss said...

Sam rebuked me tonight for not having much of a plan for Valentines Day. So I came up with the following thoughts. I'm not going to read it to her, I want it to come from the heart, but I figure I'll read over it a few times before we go out Valentines night so I can make sure I say everything I want to say.

How to say I love you

A good friend told me recently that if you love someone, you should tell them. My whole life, I've been searching for someone. There was the "requirements list", someone who was musically inclined, or enjoyed video games, or was a certain height, weight, hair color, etc. But above all of the superficial things, I've learned to put at the top of my list someone who sees me for who I am, and loves that part of me. Someone who would being willing to endure, and put up with everything you need to in this life to make it through successfully. You have that childlike innocence about you that Heavenly Father asks us all to obtain. I love your laugh and your smile. You are so attractive to me. You humble me, because I can't believe that I've been allowed to meet you and bring you into my life. There are times when I wonder if I should even be worthy of your company. We have been friends for a couple years, but as I have gotten to really know you and spend time with you alone over the last few months, I've grown more and more in love with you. I can't go to sleep at night at sometimes because I can't stop thinking about you. You get me through my day at work, and I count down the minutes till I can see you or even just hear your voice again. I've been praying really hard to know if our relationship is worth pursuing. The amazing way I feel when I am around you, and the way that feeling diminishes when your gone confirms to me that our relationship is something I should pursue. I took the courage to let you know that I wanted to date you when you were dating someone else. I took the courage to ask to hold your hand. And I now again take courage, when you've told me part of you wants to date exclusively, and another part is afraid to, and ask if you will become my girlfriend this Valentines Day.

I know it's totally cheesy, but lets face it, love is pretty cheesy. :)

SpyderWeiss said...

Oh uh and when I said "I'm not going to read it to her" I meant not going to read my words to Anna, not Sam. Just wanted to clarify in case there was confusion. Although telling that to Sam would make for an interesting evening. :)