Take a moment to think of times in your past when relationships or situations went array. What was the cause of the malfunction? Was it preventable? How did you fix it?
In many cases, the root cause of many 'bad situations' can be summed up as a miscommunication. For the most part, no one wakes up in the morning to ruin someone's day or make people feel hurt. Yet, it is hard sometimes to make your actions meet your intentions. I spent some time exploring this topic in my brain, and although I came up with a plethora of reasons why this occurs, I think I have narrowed it all down to the fear of telling people how you feel. I then started to asses when in our lives do we learn this fear, and here's what I came up with: Recess Etiquette.
Susie and Billy are playing at recess. Billy throws sand in Susie's eyes. Susie is upset and runs to her teacher crying in search of guidance. Teacher runs over to Billy and yells at him to stop his behavior. Then, tells Susie not to play with him anymore.
Susie and Billy are playing at recess. Billy throws sand in Susie's eyes. Susie is upset and runs to her teacher crying in search of guidance. Teacher says to Susie, "Did you tell Billy that you don't like it when he throws sands at you?" Susie responds through tears, "No..." "Well, why don't you tell Billy that you don't like it when he does that?" the Teacher offers. Susie goes back to Billy and explains that she doesn't like it when he does that. Billy says sorry and they go back to playing.
In Scenario #1, Billy learns about negative attention, Susie learns how to make other people solve her problems. If you translate that scenario in something more 'grown-up' I can see that being a passive aggressive Facebook post about a friend's behavior instead of reaching out to that friend in person to talk about how their actions effected them. While in Scenario #2, Susie learns she has the power to make the situation better by voicing her own feelings, and Billy learns how to communicate with someone he wants to interact with. This translates into adulthood as confidence and problem-solving.
I really believe that so many problems can be solved if we just talk to each other. Get rid of the fear and kindly express our intentions and expectations to each other so we can find compromises to help those expectations become reality. So, the next time someone 'throws sand in your face' take a different approach. Take a moment to get the sand out of your eyes, and tell that person how you feel and ask how you can work together to achieve a better outcome.