Communication is one of the main keys of life. It helps with relationships both personal and work related. When you negate communication and hold things in you harm yourself and the situation. It’s like shooting yourself and everyone else in the kneecaps. This is not to say that tact isn’t important. There are certain proper ways to approach things. Tact, listening, keeping an open mind. Sometimes emotions get so pent up that we forget these things or else don’t care to enact them. Hence, it’s important not to let resentful emotions fester. Remember, people aren’t mind readers. If it isn’t said, you have no proof that the other person understands.
When you have a problem with another person, try to approach the situation calmly. Obviously, if you can’t calm down you won’t get any message across except “Grrr.” Then the only thing that is accomplished is a yelling match of “You’re wrong”, “No you’re wrong.” It’s a good idea to prepare what you want to say beforehand. Either practice in private or write down your ideas. Often writing will help you to dissect out what is actually wrong, how it might be fixed, and why you feel the way you do. Have everything sorted out beforehand so that your message doesn’t get muddled with other topics (past, present, or extraneous).
It’s important that communication happen soon after the problem arises. This is the number one way of preventing the building of resentment. Emotions like to fester over time and add to themselves. If you feel uncomfortable approaching the person, think on this: How much more uncomfortable will you feel three months from now when the problem is compounded and worse? There’s only so much a person can take without snapping. Problems can escalate to a point where it is impossible to mention them without screaming. The only way to fix this is to avoid letting it happen. Clear out the slate when it needs it but be respectful doing so.
Try to keep an open mind when talking. Communication is a two way device, hence you must also listen. It happens a lot-you express yourself and don’t hear anything said back. Granted, what the other person has to say might be wrong, irrelevant, or stupid. However, if you don’t give them the chance to say it, and actually listen to it when it comes, you aren’t fixing anything. They may have a good reason for the things they do. They may not.
Unfortunately some problems cannot be fixed. There is no negotiation to come to. No amount of listening is going to help either of you. The point, however, is to try to fix things. You owe it to yourself as a person to express what you feel. You owe it to the other person, because they are human, to listen to what they have to say.
Hence talk with people. Keep the air open. Don’t let things fester. Understand that while not everything can be fixed, the point is to try.