Sometimes I can fire off a snappy, assertive retort when I need to. But, let's be real, that's not the case most of the time. Frequently, I don't say anything in the moment. I don't always have the words. However, it can be great when I stumble through anyway and say how I feel. Saying something in the moment can help clear up misunderstandings right away.
Like with one of my sisters for example. I was talking to her on the phone recently and it was awesome. We haven't seen each other in a looong time and we haven't been to each other's homes even longer. We genuinely miss each other and we were visiting because we hadn't talked since the holidays. It was nice to catch up.
Then she said something that sucked. AND I realized in the moment that I didn't like it. So then I said something about it. All of this is progress, yay!
First, some background info. She's been going through a lot. She got a bad diagnosis and has been going through tests and treatments and medical crap. The good news is things are finally going well. Maybe this experience will come to an end for her and she can heal and move on.
So back to the thing she said that sucked.
She said, "I'm glad that, out of the three of us, it's me that's going through this. I can handle it."
I immediately took that as my sister saying she was more resilient than me or our other sister.
I spoke up. I said something like, "That's not nice," or "I don't agree with that." I honestly don't remember specifically.
I do remember what she said. My sister said, "What? All I meant was I'm the meanest. I can tell everyone to stay away when I need them to while I'm going through this."
Literal lol. I burst out laughing. Turns out, I had misunderstood what my sister meant. I definitely took it the wrong way. It really paid off that I realized my feelings in the moment and spoke up.
And another thing... She referenced a major surgery she has coming up, something neither one of us had yet mentioned throughout our phone conversation. And I, remembering how much I hated talking about procedures and medical stuff while going through infertility, offhandedly said, "Oh, I was just gonna pretend that wasn't happening until it was over."
This time she immediately laughed out loud. She said, "And that's why I love talking to you. With mom, it's always a million questions and plans. With you, I don't have to say anything."
So there's my feel good story that I wanted to share. I love my sister (yes, the insensitive one).
Speak up when you think of it. Practice recognizing your feelings in the moment. Give yourself grace when you realize stuff after the moment. How many millions of times have I thought of something good to say long after an interaction...
But we all get better with practice.