Have you ever been in a situation or tried to be there for someone and your good intentions made the situation worse? At the end of all of it were you the blame for the outcome? Did you find yourself asking how the hell did this happen! I have, and it’s not a great feeling. For the greater part of my life, I never knew how to Protect My intentions or how important it was to protect my intentions. Society taught me a long time ago that being black in America and having good intentions didn’t come with a reward. Instead, they could land you in jail for a crime you didn’t commit. Hell, I never knew I needed to protect my intentions until I realized how much time and energy I spent defending my intentions. Over the years I’ve come to learn, that I’ve been unknowingly struggling with such an important life and social skill. I’ll narrow it down how I find myself exhibiting this behavior incorrectly in my own marriage.
Communication is something I struggle with in my marriage. Not because I can’t articulate myself well, but more so I over articulate myself. This places me in a position of expecting my wife to do the same in return. So unrealistic and unreasonable I know. My wife struggles with the exact opposite and it places her in the position of feeling like she’s not being heard. Her struggle to deliver her thoughts verbally and effectively, begin to get overshadowed by my immediate “spit it out” “just say it” “I don’t understand what you’re saying”. This causes her to retreat and shut down. At this point, I feel the need to go into further detail explaining whatever my point is at the time. My “intentions” are to help not harm. Help her articulate her thoughts through my words and help the situation by trying to create a level of understanding. Little did I know I failed at both and my “good intentions” weren’t perceived or recognized as such. Instead, they were taken as offensive and belittling. Before I knew it I was being called an ass. My wife felt like I was doing more talking at her than with her. Her feelings were hurt and she began to get upset. I too began to get upset and offended behind how she took what I said the wrong way.
Instead of me getting mad at her for taking my words the wrong way. I should have stayed in the place of my intentions. My initial intentions were to help her find the right words to express herself more effectively. Not upset, belittle and offend her. The most effective thing to do in this situation is to acknowledge that she’s upset then apologize for offending her in the ways I did. Let her know that I understand how hard it is for her to put her thoughts into words. Reassure her that I’m here for her and if she needs more time to gather her thoughts, we can continue our conversation later. That’s protecting my intentions! Starting with good intentions and staying with good intentions equals protecting my intentions. Not getting upset and arguing with my wife because my initial intentions weren’t clear to her.
I unknowingly destroyed relationships for years using societies approach to good intentions. Taking people’s misunderstanding of my good intentions; as nothing good comes from trying to do right. I’ve cut loved ones out of my life, mistreated friends and even got into physical altercations. All because I lacked understanding how protecting my intentions worked. Learning this trait so late in my life makes me wonder how many other individuals suffer in different situations, just as I did. learning this have motivated me to share my experience with hopes of helping man. So much could have been avoided, many outcomes could have been different if I was taught this or explained this earlier on in life.
It’s our human nature to defend ourselves when someone gets offended or doesn’t see our good intentions as being good. It takes effort, practice and being cognizant of what your intentions are; in the beginning in order for you to protect them all the way to the end. Doing so allows you to stay within the moment, on topic and builds trust. In my opinion, the doors you open when protecting your intentions leave the room needed to gain the understanding that may be missing. Please feel free to like and share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to hear