The silent killer
By Corey Worrell | Thu, July 26, 2012 - 12:02 AM
I find it quite INTERESTING AND DISTURBING that we give the worst treatment to those we say we love. Those people include our parents, spouses, siblings and other extended family. We shout at them, verbally and physically abuse them, call them names and refuse to assist them in times of need.
What is even more interesting is that we do not generally treat our bosses or supervisors this way. Think about it! You know it’s true.
If our bosses or supervisors upset us or get on our last nerve, we will not respond to them in the same way we would to our loved ones. I think this is due to the consequences that may follow our actions, one of which may be the loss of our jobs.
We do not immediately recognize that there are also consequences for treating our loved ones in an unkind and unloving manner. They may not always be immediate but over time they are revealed.
Over the last five years, I have been adjusting the way I approach and communicate with my family, especially my siblings and my mum. It hasn’t been easy at all but it has made me a better person. I do not shout or say unkind things to them any more; neither do I ignore or give them the “silent treatment”, which in my view can be the “silent killer” of any relationship.
Let’s say my wife does something that upsets me. I mean what she did has me really angry but I don’t want to confront her about it, so I introduce the manipulative, controlling and dishonouring “silent treatment” to teach her a lesson.
I have tried the silent treatment before and I have realized something. Whenever I did it, I would have this feeling of heaviness in my chest. I was never at peace. I also recognized that my communication was cold and unwelcoming and I responded in a monosyllabic way when spoken to. I also did not smile, hug, kiss or do anything in a loving or kind manner. I wasn’t only hurting her; I was also hurting myself. All of this because I felt justified in being angry and holding a grudge.
When we did decide to address the issue, the atmosphere was very uncomfortable and tense. Sometimes the issue would be resolved but the emotions and attitudes of both parties remained for hours and sometimes days until everything retuned to normalcy. I recognized that approach was a waste of time and energy and had the potential to destroy my relationship if it continued.
Over the last year, my wife and I have been trying a new approach and it is working well. If we recognize that we have let down or hurt each other’s feelings, we immediately seek forgiveness and seek to restore the atmosphere of our relationship to one that is peaceful, fun and full of excitement and love.
We have found that this approach of confronting a situation immediately after it is highlighted makes things so much easier to resolve. It isn’t always easy as sometimes we have to fight past our egos and our “right” to be angry and hold a grudge, but I can assure you it is rewarding.
Let me end with two scenarios.
One Monday morning, while I was driving to work, the rain began to fall heavily. By the time I got to St John, some parts of the road were covered with mud. I tried my best to avoid driving through it but failed. Six days later, I decided to wash the car. It took me about an hour and a half and a lot of hard work to get the mud off the car.
A few days later, I left work around 4 p.m. and was travelling through St George. The rain began to fall and once again I had to drive through some mud. This time, as soon as I arrived home I washed the car. It took me only about 20 minutes and the mud came off so easily.
See the mud as the situations in your life. The longer it remains, the harder it is to remove it.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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