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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

People with ISFJ preferences are dependable and considerate, committed to the people and groups with which they are associated, and faithful in carrying out responsibilities. They work with steady energy to complete jobs fully and on time. They will go to great trouble to do something they see as necessary but dislike being required to do anything that doesn’t make sense to them.

ISFJs focus on what people need and want, and they establish orderly procedures to meet people’s needs. They take roles and responsibilities seriously and want others to do the same.

ISFJs have a realistic, practical respect for facts. They use their Sensing primarily internally, where they have a wealth of stored information. They remember clearly the details of things that have personal meaning for them, such as tones of voice and facial expressions. ISFJs are likely to be practical, realistic, concrete, and specific. They use Feeling to make decisions based on personal values and concern for others. They value and work to create harmony and cooperation. Thus, they are likely to be cooperative, thoughtful of others, kind, and sensitive. Their opinions are firm because their decisions are based on their clear values and their wealth of stored data. ISFJs respect established procedures and authority, believing that these have persisted because they function well. Therefore, they will support change only when new data show it will be of practical benefit to people.

ISFJs are unassuming and quiet in their interactions, often putting the needs of others—especially family members—ahead of their own. They are uncomfortable with confrontation and will go a long way to accommodate others, though their respect for traditions and people’s feelings can lead them to challenge others. People see their values, their desire for structure and closure, their kindness. What others may not see is their wealth of rich, accurate internal Sensing impressions and memories. Others usually see ISFJs as quiet, serious, conscientious, and considerate, and as good caretakers and persons who honor commitments and preserve traditions.

I don’t like to go too much into detail on my job. However, in recent weeks I have been really struggling at work, solely based on my interactions with my new manager. For the first time in my 7 years at this firm, I have felt unsupported, I don’t have trust in my boss, and I was getting the underlying feeling that I’m not meeting [management’s] expectations.

I’ve stewed. I’ve tried to ignore it and focus elsewhere. I’ve talked in circles and non-specifics to get a feel if I was accurate in feeling this way. I’ve vented and gotten swept up alongside others who are far more angry and negative in my department than I am or ever want to be. I’ve let myself get irritated and annoyed by every minor interaction with this person as a result.

And so after a sleepless night last night, tossing and turning over this underlying anxiety and feeling of not being true to myself or my work ethic, today I took charge.

I set up a meeting to have a very honest conversation, as uncomfortable as it made me, to talk about this conflict head on. I did my best outline it from a standpoint that I care a lot about my daily work – and my career – and while I hoped it was my own misinterpretation and not an accurate reflection of my work – I have gotten the feeling while exceeding the expectations of those I work with daily, I may not be meeting management’s expectations fully.

I was sweating, and actually broke out in rash before going in.

It’s funny, I have and always can take conflict head-on in my romantic relationships, but it’s been a growing process – an ability to move past my discomfort – that has slowly changed my avoidance of conflict with friends and with work. At some point, I really hope I can do the same with my family.

The truth is, the things that are worth saving are worth pushing past the conflict and letting go of pride, the desire to “win”, being right, and not wanting to deal with the discomfort.

And every time I do, I realize, it’s worth it. Open and effective communication is the key to success in all relationships.

Really just taking that step to un-bottle everything (in a professional manner) was therapeutic in itself. To let the f go of that negative anxious energy.

For another it hashed out exactly what I needed to hear – and what I had been misinterpreting all along. When it came down to it, I myself am judging my own work (harshly) and management thinks I am meeting and if anything exceeding expectations. If there was any need to hear that more clearly, I did. The lines for communication now feel more open, and we have begun to build trust into our relationship as manager and employee.

It also made me accept that I can only adapt and manage up so much – at some point I have to accept that I may not get exactly what I want out of this relationship, but try to focus on what at a minimal I need to do to stay successful and happy here. Those are the battles worth fighting.

Anyway, I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I feel re-energized. And while it was damn uncomfortable at the time, I am so, so very glad I didn’t just sweep it under the rug.

Here’s to taking on discomfort and conflict head-on.

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The fighting pattern

Most of this past weekend was fantastic. A weekend up in Loon with the husband and friends. Drinking games filled with fits of laughter on Friday night, a relaxing day reading and getting to know one of the girls on Saturday while some skied, a warm dinner at a country-barn like inn, a night in front of the fire chatting, and a good night’s sleep before heading back to Beantown on Sunday.

An early dinner on Sunday and an awful movie (Mama. Do.not.see.it) with the Husband before we both got back into work mode.

But there are hours that I’m leaving out on Sunday afternoon. A piece I planned to keep left out but I need to write it. I need to own it and make myself accountable too.

The Husband and I got into one hell of a fight on Sunday afternoon. The car ride home was great – we caught up about the weekend, sang, talked, it was all good. And then we got back to the house, watched TV for an hour, and planned on heading out. Somewhere during that hour I got angry.

I can’t quite pin point what it is that sets me off. It could be as little as not enough affection, lack of words of appreciation, or the annoyance of getting to enjoy sleeping in the same bed tangled together for two nights only knowing we have to go back to our world of sleeping on opposite schedules, a lack of intimacy that is heart-breaking sometimes. Some days it’s easy as I joke about getting a great night’s sleep, but truthfully, some days it’s hard.

Some days things could be great, but then I let myself go back in time. To the months after we moved in where for a time period we felt like enemies instead of best friends. Remembering things that were said to hurt each other that you can’t forget, no matter how many apologies.

But in order to keep moving forward, we have to get past that. We have to continue to get better with our communication. We have to stop the escalation of our fights.

One month is what I’m asking for.

The next month to work on this and both give the same amount of effort. I gave him tangible examples of how to make me feel like our marriage is his number one priority. How it’s the little things (planning a date night instead of me always planning), the big things (no name calling during fights), the intangible things (a touch, a kiss, a look). It’s simple really – follow the steps and I can promise it will be a trickle down effect. How when I feel like a priority I will support him and his choices.

How for one month I will focus only on the present and future and let go of the past. If we fight about the dishes, it will be just about the dishes and not about hurt times from 6 months ago that don’t have anything to do with dishes. How if I am angry, mad, sad, whatever – I’ll just say it in the moment– instead of making side comments or hurtful jabs that I expect him to be receptive to days later. How I will focus on the good and show him my appreciation instead of only pointing out the bad or things I think he should fix.

The truth is I’m so tired of fighting. I’m so tired of picking these fights, escalating fights and holding on to old resentments. I’m tired of taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back each time I do this. It’s becoming a pattern, a pattern that I am creating, and a pattern that’s wearing away the good and bringing us down. Even after talking, it erased a fantastic and fun weekend we had together and left the start of Monday with a sour taste in my mouth.

It’s as much me here that needs to give as him. It’s so easy to say what needs to be done. It’s now a matter of truly following through. It’s so frustrating that for something I want so much, and care so much about, I practically sabotage myself.

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The Townie is a police officer in a town that is about 45 minutes from where I live. To be honest the typical downfalls that people assume (or you hear about) from being in a relationship with a police officer just isn’t the case with the Townie at this point.

The number one thing that many people worry about is drinking. So many officers will come home after a day or night at work, crack open beers, and zone out. Or worse head to a bar with other officers and stay until they no longer feel.

The Townie seems to be pretty healthy mentally and physically for this job. He isn’t a big drinker, he’s careful about keeping his emotions in check, and in the few years he has been doing it – he’s seen a lot of horrible things but he isn’t hardened by it. When I asked if he ever needed it, would he go to a support group or therapist, he answered yes.

Others warned about the off schedules and hours. That there’d be nights I wouldn’t see him and days I wish I could. Truthfully, it’s been a blessing. I need my nights to myself. I need my time with my friends. When 3 nights a week he works 3-11pm or an 11pm-7am shift, it gives me space and time.

Last night however was the first time I could feel the toll of his schedule on our relationship. He worked Monday and Tuesday night 3-11pm and slept at home since I asked for a few nights of space.

Wednesday night he worked a double, 3pm-7am straight, and then went directly to court to testify. He wasn’t finished until 3pm. That’s 24 hours straight being awake and working.

He arrived at my apartment at 4pm and I sent him a text that I was planning on spinning after work but I’d be home around 730ish. He immediately responded with a text about us hiking this weekend so was spinning a good idea?

My immediate reaction was anger and annoyance. I went to spinning 2 days after my triathlon, I think I can go spinning and then hike 2 days later. Then I was even more annoyed because it felt like he was saying I shouldn’t do something that I had scheduled and wanted to do.

I knew I was overreacting. I calmed down and tried to remember he was exhausted.

He napped and I got home around 6pm after deciding to skip spinning. I knew I had a little chip on my shoulder for deciding to not work out but I tried to brush it off. I cooked us dinner and we picked my fantasy football draft for work and then started watching 24.

I knew he was almost in a coma state from being so tired. I knew he wanted to get into bed, have some fun, then pass out as soon as possible rather than watching episodes of 24.

But 24 is addicting. And I was being selfish and wanted to zone out after the past week of work. So I pushed to watch 3 episodes of 24 and then we got into bed. He was tired and irritated and started to pick a fight. First turning his back to me, then slamming the covers down and loudly going to the bathroom, and then tossing and turning before making comments.

I don’t deal well with passive aggressive. I also don’t respond when adults act like children in relationships. If you want to talk, let’s talk it all out. But having a hissy fit sends me into a rage pretty quickly.

We fought until 12:15am, until we both gave in and went to sleep.

I know we’ll be OK. I know that I need to lighten up and put him as a priority in my life, because he is. But somehow we also need to find a better way to communicate.

Sometimes relationships aren’t easy.

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