Sore Points: Settle or Leave to Fester?

Human interactions and relationships will never be without their difficulties. Should sore points be discussed and settled in the open or  buried in the hope they will go away?

The mature and adult option is undoubtedly to discuss any issues freely and to resolve them. One way or another. Perhaps all parties will then be satisfied with what has been decided. Perhaps not but at least everybody knows where they stand.

The key is to avoid bitterness, recrimination and anger. To leave a grievance to fester is likely, over the years to destroy a relationship.  To discuss areas of concern in an atmosphere of understanding and kindness may lead to a different sort of relationship, or to no relationship at all.  But it will hopefully not result in anger or misunderstanding.

All too often we misunderstand each other. Or approach each other in the wrong way.  All too often we refuse to acknowledge a problem and bury it until it becomes a bigger problem.

As we get older, some of us become more philosophical. We are ruffled by less and less. We leave well alone in many cases. The daily news: who cares? Human nature as it stands requires endless conflict almost by definition. Evolution has ensured that all life on earth struggles to survive, usually at the cost of of other life which surrounds it.  Why bother to read about conflict let alone engage in it?

We eat plants and animals. We kill them to survive. We seek pleasure in an effort to find meaning, not realizing that we will never be satisfied.  We survey, enviously, greener pastures and are often tempted to stray.

What we should be doing is to wean ourselves away from such unthinking behavior. Assuming our chemical and algorithmic drives will permit us to do this. Assuming we have free will and are not robots.

Above all we should avoid damage to those around us. But damage can be caused both by action and inaction. It is a fine balance. Will less harm result from burying an issue or in raising it? My suspicion is that the greater good will come from informed and kind discussion.

We bury too much. Mental health has long been taboo and we are only just beginning to stand up and admit when we have a problem. And to seek help, even though such help as is available is pitifully inadequate – our science is not yet up to it.

And so with all problems – bring them out into the open.  Do I have anger issues? Am I happy in my job? In my career? Is a relationship fulfilling and all it can be? Are their problems?

No good can come from hiding issues in the dark and building up resentment. Much good can come from open discussion and from planning a route forward.

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