Awkward Conversations (AC)
Have you ever had an awkward conversation (AC)? I know you have. They are never fun and most often not fruitful. But the unexpected one is a lot loss painful. It’s like jumping off a cliff into the ocean. If you are peering over the edge and someone unexpectedly pushes you over, it’s awful and scary and once you are in it there is no way out until you belly flop, and that’ll leave you stinging and with a red belly, but likely you will survive.
In my mind it is even worse when you know you are going to jump off the cliff yourself. You gingerly, slowly walk over to the edge, instantly sweat beads on your forehead, your mouth dry and sticky, you can feel the blood rushing through your veins and doubts flying around your brain like a million racquetballs. Your heart beating so hard that it literally makes you conscious of your breathing. The whole while you put on a brave face , smiling a crooked nervous smile, while fear lurks deep in your eyes. The anticipation of what you have to do, knowing the pain and shear fear seconds away, making it all more nerve-racking than ever.
Seem a little overly dramatic? Not to me. I absolutely hate AC; I don’t mind watching them, I just don’t like being involved in them. I especially hate them when I know they are coming. Seems a little odd in my profession. I mean pretty much every conversation I have is confrontational; I am accusing someone of wrong – doing, grilling them , or talking to them at what they perceive is one of the worst moments of their life.
Why am I having this AC with you all right now? Well I just had one of these, and it was perhaps the worst one I have ever had. I was dreading it for weeks, which obviously made it much worse. I prayed, I thought, I sought advice and waited for God’s timing to have it, yet still it was very rough. Man to man, minimal eye contact, lots of hemming and hawing. But unlike most awkward conversations, this one was an awkward request conversation, so that is like an AC on steroids.
Once it is done, there is usually a sense a relief, just like when you realize that bear charging you out of the woods is your hiking partner trying to scare you, that type of relief. I didn’t get full relief because I left a big Matza Ball out there and I am still waiting for an answer. One thing I have learned is that although I may absolutely dread the thought and action of the AC, I will always regret it more if I don’t follow through. So next time I pull you aside and say “I need to talk to you about something” brace yourself for a belly flop. Then again, you may be one of the freaks that like that AC, and that’s a blog for another day.