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Do You Stay or Do You Go?

In difficult conversations and uncomfortable situations, do you stay past your discomfort or do you walk away?

I've definitely stormed off a fair amount of times in my life. Many times shutting the door loudly behind me seemed like the best decision. I'd think it's even a very mature one. And only recently I've started questioning it.

Sometimes discussion or a fight just hits a dead end, where it seems that all has been said, leading us to step away from each other. We say we need space, time to think and breathe. We swallow the hurt, go for a walk, hoping to settle the things and understand what happened. Thinking if we could have said something different. Thinking why does it feel so shitty.

Other times, the storm off happens in a less physical way - we run away to our phones and computers. We say "it's ok", which is translated "it's not ok, but I don't want/don't know how to talk about it" and turn on a parallel world.

While I do agree that sometimes "the truth depends on a walk around the lake", I also believe that sometimes we tend to go for that walk a little too soon. If the person is worth having a fight with, maybe they are worth staying in it a little longer too.

"You just don't get it"

As we are stuck in quarantine in the middle of the winter and there's just not many places to storm off to (especially in small apartments), we are more than ever forced to stay in the discomfort of a heavy talk.

But it doesn't have to be the person we live with. Staying or going is a dilemma that we have to face in many relationships. Whether it's an intense call with a family member, when we just want to hang up, or a discussion at work that seems to be going nowhere - the tape in our head keeps rolling 'you don't get it' song. Oddly, that song, oh so very familiar, makes it hard to hear what the other person has to say.

The desperation comes because it seems the discussion is going nowhere. Now what that really means is that we're hoping that our counterpart will accept they were wrong and we were right, apologise for not listening to us and maybe even offer us ice-cream. But that responsibility is shared. Otherwise, the discussion can go for hours, leaving us exhausted and empty. Or finishing in an eventual hitting of the door (or breaking the dishes, if that's your thing).

Sometimes we think we need space. But what we really need to do is listen. And when we want to run away, resist that temptation and stay a little longer.

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