This post is inspired by a FaceTime conversation I had with a good friend of mine last night. I decided to write this because I can relate very well to what my friend was saying. I think it’s a message that’s worth putting out there for everyone to consider and, hopefully, change the way we view our role in any relationship ~ romantic, platonic, familial.
We were talking about relationships that ended badly and how sometimes, even when we attempt to “do the right thing” and maintain civility, we’re met with animosity. My friend said that he tried to figure out what he did wrong [to warrant such treatment], to which I responded, “You mean what she thinks you did wrong”. I then explained that it took me years to add those two little words to my way of thinking because I’d been conditioned to believe I’d been to blame for everything. I knew there were things that I could have handled better, but I knew I had to stop asking what I’d done wrong and start asking what he thought I did wrong. I did what I had to do, based on the situation at the time.
The truth is, we are who we are and we do what we know, based on our experiences and perspective. There are two sides to every story and what may be true for one person may not always be true for the other. We may be made to believe that we are more to blame for something we might have said or done, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s all about perspective and everyone will see things differently.
It’s important to think about the dynamics of any relationship as logically as we can. We have to accept responsibility for our part in our relationships. We may not always handle things in the right way and that’s okay because we are human. If we do our best to make up for our shortcomings, that’s all we can really do, regardless of how our efforts are received by the other person. If the other person chooses to react badly, it’s out of our control; it then comes down to how we choose to react. Retaliation is never the answer because it only invites escalation until someone is [potentially] seriously hurt. The safest, healthiest thing that we can do, for everyone concerned, is to accept everyone’s right to their perspective, even if it’s contrary to ours.
When we can let things rest, we will find peace.
As always, we’re here to help.