Do you face your problems head-on? Or do you do what I still do sometimes (even though I know better) and try to work around them? What's the result?
Yup. Whenever I try to take a circular and indirect approach to an issue I need to address (often out of some fear or another), it often doesn't really settle the situation. I miss the mark because I haven't gone straight for it. I've acted from my risk-averse side and not been willing to be direct. The results most often are unsatisfactory.
Years ago I had a smart, witty, compassionate, fun friend whose companionship I enjoyed. However, she wanted so much more of me and my time than I could give—or wanted to give—to any one friend. She seemed so needy. I didn't know how to have "the conversation" with her, though, so I just said "No" more and more often to invitations to do things with her. Eventually, our contact diminished and eventually was lost. I always have regretted that I didn't find some way to be more honest and direct about our friendship. I might have learned a lot in the process, and perhaps she would have, too. We might even have tweaked and maintained the friendship! The way I handled it felt pretty ragged and messy.
Having said that, I know there are some things that are terribly uncomfortable to say within the context of any relationship. But openness and honesty (with tact and love, of course) feel better to me these days. What's been your experience with relationships and openness? Have you had difficulty being assertive, too? How did you handle it? Some of my clients are trying to learn how to say what they need. And, as with so much in life, it's a work-in-progress in my life, too.