We are responsible for our communications; however we aren’t responsible for the effect our communication has on another individual. It’s certainly a good idea to notice what the effect has been, but it isn’t your job to anticipate it and/or navigate around it.
My husband travels a lot for work. Our entire family works hard to find a satisfactory balance in our relationships in regard to this circumstance. Sometimes we are in the zone, and sometimes we are not. On a recent trip, my husband not due to return for a couple of days, said he might be able to pop home early. Nice message, innocuous word – “pop”. But somehow it irked me. It kept “popping” into my head all day long (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun- I’m my father’s child.) And, each time I thought about that phrase, my body tensed and my inner, negative dialog kicked into gear. So, I finally Stopped, Looked and Listened.
The repetitive, internal pinging is an alarm. It is an emotional and physical alert system. It is a signal telling you that you need to pay attention and resolve an element of your relationship that is out of whack…”Danger Will Robinson.”
When this happens, pay attention! Stop. Look. And Listen. Ask yourself “Why?” Why is that little word (“Pop” in my case.) making you so crazy? It is your issue to resolve, not theirs. Sure, it might involve them, but it is your alarm that was triggered. Own it and solve for it.