Closure

“Closure” is something that we all need in our lives. From time to time, we find ourselves in situations that leave us feeling like we are “hanging” in the balance. This is such an unsettling feeling. There are different types of uncomfortable situations and conflicts; some are caused by you and some are not…but if a situation has not been dealt with, it can leave you feeling pretty lousy.

There have been many times in my life, and I’m sure you have experienced this too, where there has been an argument or a communication gap with a friend, coworker, your child’s teacher, a family member, etc. The result, if not handled with proper care and communication, can be that there is no closure. This will become the white elephant in the room, the dark cloud hanging over your shoulder each and every time you think of or see that person.

My Dad passed away over five years ago, and his Trust and Estate are still not settled. His wife has done some really awful things and has dragged my family through the court system, depositions, and lawsuits. The motive is greed…but the bottom line is that my siblings and I have not had any closure because of her unethical actions. Every time we receive papers in the mail from her lawyers, it is a hurtful reminder that this chapter of our lives is not closed…our grieving cannot be complete…we cannot move forward.

Carrying an unresolved issue around is a very heavy load. I know that when there is an issue I need to talk about with someone, I feel it is best to get it out in the open! If I don’t clear the air immediately, it will fester and grow bigger and bigger and uglier! When that takes place, it can get so out of hand that the real issue is lost. If there is no closure, it will build and build as other issues arise. That’s when resentment, anger, and hostility are birthed.

 Have you ever had an issue that grew because there was no closure?

Were you avoiding the issue, or was the other person involved trying to skate the problem?

Did your friendship dissolve because of this conflict and lack of communication and closure?

Is it still stored in the back of your mind, like a caged lion waiting to pounce?

I have met some people who always have conflict and unresolved issues with people. It seems odd to me, but it appears that they indeed like conflict. They are more comfortable when there is drama; hence they create those situations. These people typically grew up in a family where drama, gossip, and fighting were present in their householdit feels comfortable and normal to them. Does that hit home for you? Do you wonder why conflict is always present? If so, look at your upbringing, and make necessary changes to stop the cycle. I personally do not like conflict. I prefer for everyone to just get along. I have, however, found myself in some situations that were uncomfortable and unsettled.

I once found myself in a conflict with someone that lasted about a year. I let my feelings brew and fester and become something that never should have been. I finally decided that I didn’t like all the negative weight I was carrying around because of this issue…I called a meeting with the person I had a “beef” with. We sat down and talked for a good 45 minutes…and then it was done! It was miraculous: as we talked, I could actually feel the weight lifting off my shoulders, my mood became light, and I felt a freedom and a love for this person immediately. Compassion and understanding quickly replaced the hostility and discomfort for both of us. We openly talked and were able to see the other persons side; we set some healthy boundaries, and came to some positive understandings. It was a WIN-WIN situation because of honest and respectful communication and closure.

 

Usually when there is conflict, with no closure, there is fear present: Fear of being hurt, fear of losing, fear of being embarrassed, fear of taking ownership in doing wrong, etc. People avoid confrontation because they automatically think that one side will Lose, and they dont want it to be them. They are quite sure that they are right and have a hard time seeing the other persons perspective, and therefore couldnt fathom that they could work out a situation where they will both be heard and happy.

However, if the conflict is handled with grace and love, it can more than likely end in a WIN-WIN-Situation.
Both parties can leave with a feeling that they got what they wanted.
Both parties can feel validated, confirmed, and respected.

Take Action: Is there someone you have a conflict with where communication and closure have been avoided? This week and beyond, lets create closure. If there is a conflict with someone, hiding and lurking like a lion in your life, take steps to resolve it. Be the strong, humble, mature personcall a meeting and resolve the issuetake ownership for your part, create a win-win situation, have some closure, and move forward without that negative weight on your shoulders. Going forward, lets try to communicate openly and honestly so that conflict doesnt arise.

Comments

  1. Jillbug Peterson says:

    Great words Deanna! You are doing an awesome job with your blog!

  2. Gigi Peterson says:

    I can totally see myself in your words today. Although I’ve gotten better, I hate confrontation. Avoidance, lack of mature and open conversation, and just plain turning your back on an uncomfortable situation has seemed to be the MO in my family. And I can see how this stems from fear and insecurity and unhealthy childhoods for generations. And so the cycle continues. As I write this, I’m realizing that I often avoid because I have been shut down so many times when trying to bring issues to the table. Unfortunately, I think we also need to realize that some are not able to come to the table with the same sense of resolve, and confrontation will just make the situation worse, as these are the ones who thrive on conflict. I think there is a time when you just need to walk away for your own mental health!!

    • Gigi, I agree, that sometimes the healthy thing to do is just walk away. Also, sometimes you just have to wait…as is the case with my Dad’s Trust and Estate. But in most cases, clear communication is the best route to closure!

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