Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Traveling is great. Traveling with someone else is even better. Until it’s not.
Vivi and me have been to Equador (long time ago), to Uruguay (very recently) and are now in Argentina together. It’s great to show the other person something beautiful. To have someone to share dinner conversation with. To outsource the map-reading once and awhile. Sharing is good.
And we all need some time for ourselves as well. To read a book without being disturbed. To walk around, lost in thought. To go see something that you really want to see but the other person does not.
Yet for me it’s very hard to actually take that time for myself. To actually say “I want to be alone for a bit”. What if the other person does not want that? What if she wants to be together all the tie? I imagine the other feeling rejected, left out. So I say nothing. And feel unhappy.
Until at some point, some how, you do have an open talk about what you want and need. And dreading the worst, blurt out that you need some time for yourself, to order your thoughts, to not be social all the time.
And the reply is that the other person was thinking exactly the same. But was afraid to say anything.
Time to look each other in the eye and laugh a bit sheepishly.
And I can’t help but think about how many times I didn’t say something, afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or making them uncomfortable.
And I can’t help but think about how many opportunities I missed to not only make myself feel a bit better, but also to help someone else.
How many wrong assumptions am I making about what other people actually want and / or think? Last time I checked my mind-reading skills were far below where I want them (mental note, work on mind-reading skills!). Yet only too often I act as though I do know exactly what the other person has going on in their mind. Or I am afraid that I won’t like what the answer is to the question I pose. Or (and this is the biggest one), I’m afraid that I will seriously damage the relationship I have with the other person.
But if I have a simple thought or request and I voice that, can it really hurt my standing with someone? And if it does, what does that say about how that person and I interact in the first place?
So, less assuming, more asking and talking.
That will be a good idea. I assume.