Sunday, December 13, 2009

Journaling…..OR…… Cross Your Fingers with the Email/Text Message

When was the last time you pulled out your Journal to vent over a difficult relationship? If you’re like me, it’s been a long time. Or if you are a teenager or college student, you might not be aware that they make these cute little books where you can use a pen or a pencil to jot down what’s going on inside your head - no keyboard or keypad involved!

So I had a recent situation that made me think of the good old Journal. I felt like someone had wronged me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And every time I thought about it I just got angrier and angrier. So I felt like I had to do something to release the tension and move on.

Want to know my not so brilliant solution? I composed a long email to the individual who wronged me. It actually felt really good getting my thoughts out of my head. And I had a long list of reasons why it was so awful of him to treat me the way he did. And it felt even better to click SEND on the email. Wow – the tension was gone, I had vented and now I could move on and stop thinking about the situation.

UNTIL…..The email response. I guess this individual didn’t like everything that was a part of my brain dump. So he sent me a “nice” little response. And now I’m back to square one – thinking about how he wronged me, how he just doesn’t get how he wronged me and I’m getting angrier and angrier AGAIN!

Let’s turn back the clock (don’t you sometimes wish you could actually do this?) What if I had pulled out my Journal with the cool picture of the mountains on it? I jot down all that stuff that was going on in my head while sitting by the fire place with a nice cup of hot chocolate. I feel the release – I can move on with my life. And I read through my Journal entry and then set-up a time to meet with the guy who wronged me. I have a good grasp of my feelings and can share these in a way that doesn’t create defensiveness from him. We have a healthy conversation and our relationship actually strengthens.

Quite the difference!

So before you blast off that email or text message, think about dusting off that Journal. The results could be much better.

Clark Souers

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