Life is about learning lessons daily and applying what you’ve learned to insight growth. I recently was in a situation with someone I consider a friend and got checked by my sister on my reaction and response. I realized that the relationship with my friend had changed. During our interactions, they had become very abrasive towards me without cause to my knowledge. I was offended and became angry. She would cross my mind but, I didn’t reach out because I was hurt.
I shared my feelings with my sister and she gave me a different perspective on how to approach the situation. I was thinking about anything I could have done to affect the situation not realizing it could have been something that has nothing to do with me. She reminded me that it’s important to check in with people and see how they are before jumping to conclusions and access the situation. She analyzed my approach and told me that my language and tone needed to change to get the response I desired.
Some time had passed and out of the blue one day she reached out to me. I was surprised and had to make sure I was in the right frame of mind to have a conversation because my emotions drive my responses. In that time, I was only thinking of my emotions and not anything else that could have been going on. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read between the lines nor did I try. I had on blinders and couldn’t think outside of my box. It was necessary for me to become aware of my behavior and adjust it.
After speaking to her I quickly realized that she had been going through something. Using some of the skills that I learned I needed to choose my words wisely, watch my tone and ask open ended questions to gauge where she currently was mentally and emotionally. At this moment I put my feelings aside and listened to my friend. She could unload and took responsibility for her actions at the same time explaining the place that she was at and why she was behaving that way.
What I’ve taken away from this experience is that it’s NOT always about you. I tend to react first without thinking about the bigger picture or other perspective. Also, to check-in on your friends when they get quiet. They may be in a dark place and you can be the light that they so desperately need also giving them the opportunity to unload. I know when I’m going through something I get quiet and internalize a lot. That’s not good! I need an outlet and my friends have offered to be a sounding board for me.