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The Heartbreaking Truth About Meeting the Right Person at the Wrong Time

The Heartbreaking Truth About Meeting the Right Person at the Wrong Time

They say timing is everything. And “they” are right.

We live our lives striving to make perfect decisions. We are bombarded with information that tells us we are imperfect and that we must strive to attain success. Whether it’s how our bodies and faces look and how we must retain our youth, despite the natural process of aging; how we dress; how much money we earn; where we live; what commodities and material possessions we can accumulate.

Popular culture tells us that we need to work very hard and use all the resources available to us to make sure we reach our fullest potential, the pinnacle of success and superiority. Nobody strives for being average, for doing just OK, or for simply being. So, when we think we have made the wrong decision, or missed out on something we believe we are entitled to, we feel a sense of loss that is hard to shake. This can apply to a job opportunity, or promotion, a property or commodity purchase, and even relationships. Meeting the right person at the wrong time can be life changing when it doesn’t work out the way we desire. It can impact us for a long time to come, resurfacing [1] when we least expect it and preventing us from moving on.

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When we meet the right person at the wrong time, we feel like missing out the good.

Psychologists refer to the grief of missing out, or “Fear Of Missing Out” most recently and commonly known as “FOMO”, as dealing with ”unfinished business”. [2] When all the factors don’t come together to create the outcome we desire, for one reason or another, we don’t get what we want and this creates feelings of loss, grief, regret and even hostility. Holding onto these feelings are the only connection we have to the elusive thing that has slipped through our fingers and so we focus on the negative feelings as a security blanket instead of letting go and moving on with our lives.

When we meet somebody who seems ideal, it is only natural to want to make that connection and to manifest a relationship with that person. Those feelings may even be reciprocated and we may even begin an intimate relationship. But if that seemingly right person comes along at the wrong time, for us or for them, the relationship is doomed to fail. Although all the other boxes are ticked; attraction, values, life goals, geography; if the timing is off, neither party has any power over the course of the situation and the reality needs to be accepted.

It’s harsh to accept, but meeting someone at the wrong time means he/she is the wrong person.

If you meet the right person at the wrong time, chances are they are in fact, the wrong person. The right person doesn’t only need to fulfill the criteria of your desires and vice versa, if two people are heading in the wrong direction from each other, if one person is more ready than the other to settle down, or is dealing with their own unfinished business and hasn’t got the capacity to maintain the needs of the relationship at that time, then it is inevitable that the relationship will end and resistance will make it end badly. Timing is everything, it is the one ingredient that ensures a relationship’s longevity, prosperity and success.

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Dealing with unfinished business when you think you have met the right person at the wrong time, in fact making them the wrong person, can be confronting and painful. The struggle[3] is real and you will experience a number of emotions that could leave you confused and depressed.

To move on and meet the right person, learn from the relationship with this wrong person.

The key to coping and moving forward involves not only communicating[4] with the person, to resolve the issues between you both and deal with the deterioration and cessation of the relationship, it also requires you both to do your own individual purging of feelings by confronting your grief, extracting the lessons and moving forward. Writing a letter[5] to the person, regardless of whether they every read it or not, is one useful exercise to consider.

Here are some other ways to address unfinished business when we meet the right person at the wrong time:

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Cherish the good memories, you don’t have to forget them.

Like any great experience, good relationships are sometimes fleeting and just because they are not forever, doesn’t mean they were any less meaningful. Sometimes having to let go of someone, makes your time with them even more significant, specifically because it was so short lived. Use your time reflecting on the good times instead of dwelling on the negatives and the fact that it had to end.

Don’t lose your ideals, stay true with what you want.

When you meet the one you think may be the right person at the wrong time, it is tempting to change yourself and your goals, in order to fit into the criteria that you believe will preserve the relationship. You are setting yourself up to fail and eventually, the real you and your truest needs will re emerge and you will have done nothing except waste yours and the other person’s time. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be true to yourself; your desires, your life goals and where you are at in your life. Despite what you think you are missing out on, if you remain authentic, you can’t go wrong.

Feel the bitterness, this helps you to recover faster.

It is OK to be sad, angry, resentful, confused, even bitter. All feelings are valid and denying them only intensifies them. Life is all about ups and downs and the idea that it will always be smooth sailing is false and fabricated by the aforementioned manufactured ideals we get from popular culture. The times we feel most alive and connect deeply with our humanity is when we experience loss, which by the way is inevitable. It is the human condition to know and to feel and therefore to grieve. We want to protect ourselves from this pain and disappointment and to make the best possible decisions to avoid unnecessary hurt, but sometimes not everything is in our control and we only gain this information and the tools to make better decisions through bitter experience. Embrace it.

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Be determined to walk away from what doesn’t serve you.

Being willing and determined to walk away from something that we really want but can’t have takes strength of character and emotional maturity. Unless you’re a toddler, you need to develop the understanding that you can’t have everything you want in life. Where’s the challenge in that? It is simply counterproductive and in fact destructive to try to force a situation or a relationship when it isn’t working out.

Meeting the right person at the wrong time is an opportunity to gain these life lessons and in time, most people tend to look back with hindsight and are able to appreciate the reasons why things evolved in the way they did. We can look back and see that although things didn’t work out how we wanted them to at the time, they were better for us in the long run.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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