What Am I Missing?

I got in a fight with my sister the other day in trying to communicate with her about something that she did, I did not like.  I started out well but it escalated into the fight I did not want to happen.  The one thing I did learn for sure is that no matter what, no one in my family will ever agree that communicating when something is wrong is the right way to handle things.  Instead she once again said that if you did not like something that someone is doing or saying, you should just avoid hanging out or talking to them.

I have spent two years in therapy learning to communicate and that it is ok to tell someone when you do not like something they are doing.  I believe that if you never tell anyone about what you do not like or feel, then how is it possible for them to learn, grow, or change if all we do is turn off when they do something we do not like?  Or maybe even if it is something we like, are we only then supposed to communicate?  I was amazed because my sister is usually so level-headed and yet she accused me of being the closed off one and told me that I never open up.  She told me that by telling people the things I did not like, was imposing my views and ideas on others. Trying to force them into thinking my way instead of figuring things out for themselves.  And yet I spent the entire nine days she was here listening to her tell her boyfriend of the things he did that she did not like and how horrible my little sister acted.  It is hard to open up when no one is even listening in the beginning to what you have to say.  I am actually a very open person, it is just my family chooses not to listen because I refuse to continue to sweep the unpleasant stuff under the rug and not talk about it.  The only way any of us can start living and grow is to learn what others do not like or do like.  We then have the option to look at those things in ourselves and change them or keep them.  I would not and could not have changed a few of the things about myself that was very unpleasant in my attitude and actions if others had not pointed it out to me because you rarely see the not so great things about yourself until others point them out to you.

I am not trying to oppose anything on anyone else, I am just trying to express myself to help others know how to treat me better and to understand me.   My way might not be right for everyone and that is ok.  And like I tried to point out to my sister, if her way works for her then it is what is right for her.  It is just not what is right for me.  It seems to me like the world would all be a better place if people would and could communicate with each other. What am I missing here?


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