Saturday, July 22, 2006


I was in a class to teach better interpersonal skills when you're basically being stressed out - how to keep communication open when the conversation has contention. The class was a pretty arduous two-day course. After the first day, I thought it was interesting in the Chinese sense. After the second day, I thought it had real value, but we covered so much material, that it should have been a three-day class.

Upfront: these kinds of personal development classes give me the willies. But the company expects you to enroll and attend. And the company pays for them. That's what autonomy is all about. I don't like PD courses at all. I feel very uncomfortable, kind of like running my fingernails across a chalkboard, then pulling out my fingernails, that kind of uncomfortable. But I wanted to give this course by best try. I'm glad I did. It was very worthwhile. Of course, had it actually been a three-day course, I might not have made it through the third day.

So this morning, I had a conversation in contention with Ron. I tried to model and practice some of the behaviors explained in the course. It was a humbling experience. It is so difficult for me to listen to others. It is so difficult for me to insist that others listen to me. It is hard to be honest. It is hard to talk to the heart of the person you love. I know why we've been together for so long - he's respectful, he's open, he's honest. I can't imagine my life without him.

The conversation was about a part of our lives that was deeply dissatisfying to me, but I just couldn't bring it up. This had been eating at me for years. So today we talked. He opens my mind and my heart. We don't have difficult conversations very often. I don't know why I'm afraid of them. I'm very happy we talked.