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When It's Time to Speak

Updated on February 17, 2010

The Walls of Jericho Fall Down

Knowing when to listen and knowing when to speak may be the most important lessons you learn in a relationship. In the prequel to this hub, When It's Time to Listen, I talked about the idea that "it is not about me, it's about you" when you are truly hearing another person.

I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.
~ Marilyn Monroe

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~ Barbara Bloom

Never complain. Never explain. ~ Katharine Hepburn

After you know the feelings behind the words being spoken or the place the speaker is in when they are speaking, you have a much better chance to respond from your heart to their heart and make that all-important emotional connection.


The ones you love, like you, need to be appreciated and considered not only for what they can do, but for who they are. It is one thing to say "I love you" and quite another to tell them why you do.

Speaking From The Heart

"I love that you get cold when it’s seventy-one degrees out.
I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich.
I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re lookin’ at me like I’m nuts.
I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes.
And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night....when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." ~ When Harry Met Sally

Whenever I feel I can't say why I like someone or what they do, I think of how easy it is tell them what I don't like sometimes and it helps me realize that seeing and knowing someone is a choice---If you see them as flawed or perfect----Either way, you are right.

I used to think that love was overwhelming approval. You meet someone and you just like everything about them---their look, their voice, their thoughts---you can't get enough of them, you talk into the night, you find every excuse to be around them and they can do no wrong. When you commit to the relationship, one or the other experiences disappointment or pain or fear or anger or loneliness.

That, of course, is to be expected, but when the feeling takes expression in words directed at you, that all-important, overwhelming approval, like the rain forests of Brazil, is in danger of extinction because of the way you react to what you hear.

Most people in a relationship, when they hear words coming at them fueled by the negative feelings above, hear blame or shame or criticism and the illusion is shattered.

Do you remember the first time you felt that disillusionment? One minute the one you loved was angelic---you could kiss the ground they walked on and in the next minute you wondered who was this stranger saying these things to you.

I admit to being a participant in this experience---I wish I could tell you that I passed with flying colors, but alas I am not even sure there is a grade low enough for my performance.

I wish I could tell you that I was not fooled---that I knew it was a kind of test---that I knew the unkind words directed my way were only a tortured, unintended expression of the pain, disappointment or fear of abandonment that had attacked the heart of my loved one.

I wish I could tell you that I responded like my poem below and the overwhelming mutual approval stood firm against the bulldozers and fires that had been lurking in the insecurity of my subconscious, waiting to be unleashed to claim the rare and precious acreage left in the world.

Maybe the sheer awesomeness of our love was to blame---maybe I had built the pedestal so high that the potential energy of its collapse was too great and the assault was too much for it. Whatever the reason, the forest shuddered, the pedestal tipped and we were left shaking our heads and searching for the paradise lost of our unconditional love.

In my single poem hub "When Love Loves You Back," I describe what happened and end with the hopeful and saving truth:

Love can take all you have and be hungry

but sometimes love wants nothing

finding you in places you'd forgotten.

When you're lost

love can love you back

Let me just say that I have learned to accept that perfect love resides in imperfect people. I have learned that when imperfections push you into withdrawal or to attack, that both are wrong. When confronted with the sparks caused by iron sharpening iron, I know that they will pass and we will both be better off when it is done.

How you see, how you hear, how you interpret determines to a great extent the outcome.

Love is the happiness that results from giving your heart away

Seeking nothing in return

It looks beyond the faults

And sees the good and the beautiful,

And by the act of loving, creates much of what it loves

The best defense in the battle for overwhelming and unconditional approval or love is the positive affirmations you say to yourself about yourself and the one you love. When you have listened with all your heart and your mind and it is time to speak, speak with a tender and forgiving heart.....

If You Speak.....

If you speak from Disappointment
I will shower you with Affirming Words

If you speak from Pain
I will hold you close and say “I Love You”

If you speak from Anger
I will say “I Love it when Your Eyes Spark like That”

If you speak from Fear
I will hold you and say “I will Never Leave You”

If you speak from Emptiness
I will fill you up with What I Love about You

If you speak from Loneliness
I will tell you Stories of All the Ones Who Love You

If you speak from Love
I will know that You are Doing the Same for Me

©Winsome Publishing 2010 All Rights Reserved


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    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 7 years ago

      You are absolutely right, Winsome. My best friend, who I met in first grade, many decades ago, tells me all the time that it if hadn't been my persistence and consistency in engaging her in friendship, she admits that we would probably not be friends today because she felt she couldn't have done what I did. There's an expression I love, and I don't know who the credit goes to, but it basically says that there are friends of the road, and friends of the heart. My life is blessed with both.

      You're very welcome. Obviously, I love to hear what you have to say :)

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      That was a lovely story Trish--it underscores the truth that the best relationships are persistent and not perfect. I like to say that between friends, it is much easier to convince them they are loved than to convince them you are right. Thank you so much for your gracious response to my articles. =:)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 7 years ago

      I have been friends with someone online for more than 10 years, In all that time, only once did we get into a verbal confrontation. It was nasty. It was ugly. It was hurtful. You see, one thing I had learned about him was that he had certain mindsets about things, as I think we all do to some degree. However, this one time, after listening to his ranting for the 100th time, I finally had enough, and began attacking his mindset, trying, without success, to make him hear what I was saying. And yes, I was probably trying to make him come to my way of thinking.

      Well, we finished arguing, and vowed to never speak to one another ever again. That didn't happen. In time, we picked up the friendship, made our apologies, and now, many years after that, we can laugh about it and in fact, we can't remember what even started it. :)

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Thank you Maggs, I wondered all my life why I was created the thoughtful, quiet one when I admired the more flamboyant style of personality. When I grew older and developed a social style of my own, I think that quieter, more pensive Winsome is really me and he was made to sample the pollen of life, process it and distill it into the honey that makes one love to be alive--some call that poetry. So happy you enjoy it. =:)

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain

      This trilogy is proving to be a real blessing, you have a real gift of distilling the essence of this subject and then expressing it beautifully. I find that your poems are deeply moving and touch me in a way that I didn’t know poetry could.

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Thank you Alfreta, how gracious you are. After Harry Met Sally, all the quotes are me--and you are right, it took a long time to distill the thoughts that seem so easily put into a hub. Your poetry is a way to let your soul out, so keep slipping them in, I really enjoy your soul slips. =:)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Oh my goodness, I'm embarrassed that you even stopped by my hub on poetry. This is so deep and thoughtful. The entire hub is beautiful and to finish it off with that lovely poem, was just great. It must have taken a lot of time to find all of those quotes. All I can say is, Great!

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Thank you for visiting poetlorraine. I'm so glad you liked it. We who write like to think before we write. I'm working on that for speaking. =:)

    • profile image

      poetlorraine 8 years ago

      well now i am impressed, i loved this hub, it was warm, witty and just drew me in

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      My privilege Ivorwen. Thank you for your insight. I've been reading some of your have a friend here. =:)

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      A very moving hub. I am in tears now. It never occurred to me before that some of the cutting words loved ones utter could be fueled by their own fears. That the criticism could be more about them than the one they say it too.

      Thank you for opening my eyes to new possibilities.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago


      * Royal wave

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Thank you Duchess, as Forest says: "I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is." And that's to be more concerned for the ones I love than how they make me feel. I hope you are well, I always feel like royalty when you drop by. =:)

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      "Let me just say that I have learned to accept that perfect love resides in imperfect people."

      Absolutely beautiful, and well said.

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Pamela99 isn't that the truth. I glad we can be forgiven but better to think twice. Thank you for you gracious comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      This is a wonderful hub, very inspirational. Words are so important and you can't take them back once there said so it is nice to hear such sweet ones. Thanks.

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Hi Micky, so glad you cycled by. =:) Thanks for the kind words.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      Great job. You really do nice work. Thanks

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Sage thank you for the generous and encouraging words. The bible says that no man can tame the tongue, but maybe we can educate it a little. =:) I so appreciate your comments.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 8 years ago

      Wow! a truly amazing, dynamic and inspirational hub. So beautiful and very well written. I really enjoyed this one!

      Thanks so much,