Last year, a friend and I witnessed something traumatic. About a week after the incident, it hit me. I was angry and shocked and deeply sad. I also knew the only person I wanted to talk to, in that moment, was that friend.
And they were only a text or a phone call away. But I hesitated. What if they were in an okay place with everything that had happened? I didn’t want to bring this up out of nowhere and bring them into a bad place.
The next day, I reached out and was met with relief. My friend immediately responded and said that they’d been feeling the same way a couple days before, but didn’t reach out to me for the very same reason.
In that conversation, we made a deal to always be open to talking about it and, no matter what, the other would always be open to listening.
For several weeks now, I’ve been feeling like I’ve dropped the ball on a few things: missed calls from friends, texts that went unanswered, and deadlines I’d given myself for advancing Smile Project programs.
This is a frustrating place to live in and I knew one particular pain point could be resolved by simply initiating a conversation with a friend. When I finally did, a similar thing happened. We both acknowledged that we’d fallen off the radar and felt so bad about it, that we let the distance grow farther.
Having that open and honest conversation brought everything back to center and gave us both the clarity to move forward.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, wondering how many conversations I’ve put off because I was afraid of what stood on the other side. I thought about how many times—when I did muster up the courage to open the dialogue—things went better than I could have ever imagined.
So this week, we invite you to start the conversation. Reach out. Do the hard thing. The response might surprise you.