Have you ever been on the receiving end of confusion? Of people saying one thing and doing another? Of a situation that you were sure was headed one way but it quickly swerved out of seemingly no where … or dissolved … or became something that was completely different than what you intended it to be?
Sure you have … because we all have. From business deals that dissipated. Relationships that went off course. Potential the fizzled. When we hear one thing but the situation is another, it’s hard to unsee what we deep down want to believe. And what most of these situations have in common is the same thing: a complete lack of clarity.
Confusion is born from teams, people, or individuals that refuse to be clear. In an effort to remain comfortable, we choose not to be direct. But in that lack of clarity is confusion. And confusion hurts. And it keeps us on the hook.
I’ve done it. I’ve committed to things in person that I had no intention of following through on. I’ve held my real feelings close because I didn’t want to hurt their feeling on the spot. I’ve hoped it would all just go away instead of having to own my responsibility in it, out loud. I’ve ignored poor performances, thinking the positive can outweigh the negative eventually. I’ve smiled to someone’s face and cried behind their back. I’ve done it.
I’ve done it because being direct, and clear, and honest can hurt. It can hurt our own heart and it can seem like it might hurt someone’s else’s. But we must do it anyways.
Because confusion is actually the killer here. Confusion becomes a murky pool of questions. Confusion leads to painful blindsiding they didn’t see coming. Confusion harvests all kinds of pain and resentment that could have been avoided by just being clear. Being direct. And saying the things that are hard to say.
So if you’re feeling confused about where you stand, in your job, in your relationship, in your friendship … consider creating a conversation for the sake of clarity. Examine why, exactly, you’re not asking for the clarity you deserve. Yes, it’s possible you hear what you fear. It’s also possible you hear something that gives you the freedom to move with grace instead of weighted down with confusion.
And if you’re the person withholding clarity from someone hoping they get it together eventually, or they figure it out, or that the situation will just resolve itself on its own … dig a little deeper for the courage to be clear. Examine why, exactly, you’re not sharing your truth and saying what needs to be said. It’ll release you from this tether of guilt, and it’ll release them to what’s next, which is what everyone deserves to begin with.
As Dr. Brené Brown says, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” So, be clear. Be kind. Your ability to face these difficult conversations is directly proportional to how much expansion you’ll see in your life.