There are two kinds of people: those who need to work through issues and those who ignore them. I am the former. I need to understand what happened, why the situation occurred, and find a way to correct the problem; then, I can move on. It boggles my mind when I encounter people who want to bury their problems and pretend they never happened. Do they think the other party will forget? Do they believe the other person will forgive them without an explanation? Will things magically return to normal?
I have always been good at hearing people tell me what they felt my faults were. My feelings get bruised; I believe everything they say is a fact. When it’s only their opinion, not necessarily the absolute truth, it’s not easy learning to accept your part in a situation. It took me many years to understand the key is checking your ego and understanding that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and if you can admit your mistakes, the other person is more likely to forgive.
You can’t expect to grow, mature, resolve or have the kind of relationships in life that are complete and fulfilling without being honest with yourself and the people in your life. I find it incredibly rewarding to be open in my relationships, vulnerable, and honest with my thoughts and feelings. I work on being a good listener, which is not always easy. Listening is a learned behavior. I want to fix or help, but that isn’t always what the other person wants or needs. I work on all these things and try to improve my relationships.
Recently I found myself in a situation where someone I am related to accused me of doing something dishonest. This person continued to tell me someone who gave them the information was more believable than I was. I was furious and hurt that they would believe such a thing. I denied it to no avail. They told me that defending myself made me look guilty. My integrity is everything to me and what this person accused me of was not only incorrect but laughable. The conversation became extremely heated to the point that I no longer wanted anything to do with them. The phone call left me shaken, upset, hurt, and in tears.
That relationship was on the rocks before that conversation, but that was the final straw. Over the last couple of years, I have been setting boundaries for my health and well-being. This situation made it clear that it was time to be more consistent with my new rules. The lack of communication was a welcomed relief for my heart and mind. I could focus on myself, clear my head and work on things I previously did not have time to do because I allowed myself to feel trapped in a relationship that I didn’t feel I could change.
The time allowed me to cool off and think. It gave me perspective and clarity. I realized that my entire life, I craved approval from my parents and anyone else I deemed necessary in my life. If I let them down, it would eat me up inside. I realized I needed to take control of my life and not allow lies or harmful behavior of others to destroy my inner peace. When I was finally ready to have a conversation with this person again, I wanted to understand what had happened. The answer I received was they didn’t want to discuss the past and couldn’t we move on. Start fresh from right now.
I suppose I could let it go right there. Forget what transpired, forget the hurt, and move on like nothing ever happened. I mean, that’s how this relationship has been my entire life. We pretended nothing happened, then moved on. The difference is that I want to control my narrative. I want to feel good about the relationships I have. I want to be open and honest and have the people in my life be open and honest, even if that means our feelings get hurt. I also can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do or be different from who they are. You have to want to change. I can only change myself and make decisions that are right for me. That is what I will do in this situation.
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