When I was a little girl I thought the only way to end a friendship was to betray someone by stealing something or commencing in infidelity with their significant other. As an adult I know that there are many friendships that have ended or changed and it had nothing to do with either. (To be clear though that’s a sure way kill a friendship.) As we get older we become sure of who are, as a result it also means we are less compromising on our beliefs and how we do things. Two important approaches I’ve learned to maintain healthy relationships is to learn to disagree and support people’s life choices. Sounds simple right?
There are times when you and your friend or sister or even a loved one will have a different opinion or see a situation totally different. On one occasion a very close friend of mine and myself had a disagreement. She felt I had been a bad friend and wasn’t there for her and I also felt the same. We had a discussion (adulting!) to iron our issues out and to come to a resolve. But when we got together neither one of our perspectives changed. We each had examples to support our truths, we got upset and emotional. This discussion was not going the way I hoped. We unpacked what was on our chest. After we both said our peace, and when I say peace I mean loudly and defensively, we each had attitudes for about 5 minutes. Then we looked at each other and said I love you! LOL. At the point we decided this friendship that we have been cultivating for many years and different stages of our lives was more valuable than being right. Truly the most important thing is we both were heard. Most of the times isn’t that what it’s really about, being heard? At that moment we decided to agree to disagree. Going forward I did try to improve on the things that bothered her when she gave examples of how I was not there for her. It was clear to me that there was an opportunity for me to make sure what I was putting out was being received. Meaning, I can have all the best intentions in the world but if the person doesn’t receive it that way, it really doesn’t matter. I am so grateful that we agreed to disagree. She has been there for me for some really difficult periods of my life and if we didn’t agree to disagree I don’t know where I would have been without her! Everything was worked out and we did it without a camera crew or confessional room present.
It so important to support people’s life’s choices even if you don’t agree essentially you are supporting that person and not their choices. It’s like coloring a picture with your friends or siblings as a child. I think if I was 8 and coloring pictures with my sisters and I decided to color my leaves purple I know one of them would suggest I color them green. If I saw something on their picture like a yellow sun I might suggest coloring it orange. Because we are sisters and we care what each other think. I probably would change my leaves to green and she her sun to orange. Now as grown women if I suggest to use a different color crayon she or he will be offended and insulted. Suggesting as an adult is called unsolicited advice, and we all know how much everyone loves that! Ironically we all hate it yet we are also guilty of doing it. Because I fought to be confident in who I am, I am not going to allow anyone tell me what color to paint my picture and neither are you. The crayons and colors are an analogy for life choices. As adults a lot of our relationship issues with loved ones is because of life choices. It can be someone doesn’t like some one’s significant other, where’re you work or that you don’t work, how you raise your children, the list goes on. I will hear someone say I love her to validate their unsolicited advice. I love my family and friends too but I let them color their picture anyway they want. In life people have to experience things for themselves; even if you can predict how things are going to turn out. In the past I had a fall out with a friend because she didn’t like my opinion on her relationship. Presently you will never or it’s very rare to hear me speak on someone’s relationship because it doesn’t affect me and beefing with my friend over her life just isn’t worth it. As long as someone is not harming themselves I support them using any crayons they like, it’s their picture for goodness sake!
It’s like Carrie said on an episode (that happens to be playing now thanks to E!) friendships don’t magically last you actually have to work at it. When you see pictures of sisters that are uber close or friends that have been friends for years know, that’s it’s not magic it’s a conscious effort and work. The next time you’re trying to convince your sister to agree with your feelings or want to tell your friend how to fix their credit score, or discipline their child remember the importance of agreeing to disagree and supporting whatever your loved one needs to make them happy.
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you no pain unless it’s champagne!