Talk to people, even though you know you will be disappointed

I hate fights that broke over texts. They are just lack of contexts and sometimes it fueled fire.

Take a deep breath, and talk. Even though sometimes you are scared of their reactions. Even though sometimes you know it would hurt. What matters more is understanding, rather than avoidance of conflict.

My recent conflict was with a friend who I knew for a long time. I would admit, it was painful, just by reading through the texts I was sent. It wasn’t a fight, I would say. We didn’t mean to hurt the others, but we were impatient, so we were throwing bandage at each others, thinking that it would help the others heal, but ended up hurting them more.

It wasn’t the length, or the rudeness of the text that blew me off, I realized. It was the attitude, the connotation, that I believed to associate with it, to be misaligned with what I thought it would be.

Maybe I’m just an overthinker. But look, that’s why I’m trying to separate fact and emotion, and judging situation based on realistic evidences rather than examining how I feel about it.

Because sometimes, looking at facts, it’s painful af.

There is so much a message can convey, but sometimes, it is far away from the real context or intention of the sender. I understand it, but the lingled feeling of disappointment does last for awhile. Maybe that’s why we are so concerned about being disappointed. But here is a ridiculous part: We need a sorry from other person, although thinking about it, that disappointment wasn’t really caused by them, but ourselves. It’s because we have set an expectation, based on our own criteria to weight the outcome for good. If we have:

Happiness = reality – expectation

Then we have

Disappointment = Expectation – reality

Reality is our perception towards the external stimulus, whereas expectation is our idealistic imagination for the regarded outcome. When disappointment happens, it’s never the actor’s fault that got the blame. Looking at yourself for setting the bar so high is also an option.

My point is not whether setting the high expectation is good or bad, but more about what to do with disappointment when you have it. Maybe we should just say sorry, please, to acknowledge that gap.

One of my friends said that a guy who just came to a company did his job well, but there’s an expected error in the computer system which he was taking care of happened that lead to a mass machine failure. The company blamed him for that, but he refused to apologize because it wasn’t his fault. Of course, it wasn’t his fault. He left after long period of being scorned at.

Should we accept defeat and admit that we did something wrong by saying sorry? Of course, I don’t think so. You don’t have to say sorry for things that happens beyond your control. No one can take the destructive responsibility of a hurricane over the loss of family members, nor anyone could be blamed for causing earthquake. But do you say sorry? Yes. What for? For the pain that the victim’s family was going to through. For the suffering that they were bearing, and that they were searching for help.

You don’t just say sorry for making mistakes. I love saying sorry for making mistakes, though, because I have made so much, and it’s thrilling to correct and prove the others that I can do better next time. But for saying sorry as a compassionate way, I still have to learn how to do it. One reason is that I don’t like taking pity and giving pity, but sometimes pity and compassion can be misunderstood. How to say sorry, and be clear with our message, is challenging.

For now, I would like to retain a bit away from my overly messy thoughts, and focus on execution. That might helps.


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