Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hit 'em When They are Good and Low

I will not even to pretend to know hardly anything about relationships, friendships, any of that business because it is about as complex and personal as it gets, but I will say this... I do know what hurts me.

The sad part is I think it has become so routine, so quick for us to do this to each other, that it is considered being a good friend or good partner. We are all short on time, energy, and capacity to be upbeat and positive. I mean, we all have to do that for ourselves, so when it comes to others...there is a limited amount of energy there sometimes. I am the first to admit this happens to me all the time:

I am worn out, I am tired, I have my own ish going on, and then someone calls along and needs me. I listen, murmur a few 'uh huhs' and then because you really feel like you need to get back to your life, you drop the "hard loving truth on them"

Whether or not you intend to you've hit them in the gut when they are already gasping for air emotionally.

I am at fault. I will be the first to raise my hand and say "yup, I've done that to a friend/boyfriend/family member/coworker/etc".  Sometimes you just can't handle someone else's ish right then. It is too much. It is too depressing. You just can't. 

You have someone who is admitting to feeling sad, defeated, scared, depressed, anxious, insecure, you pick the emotion here, and there, in the throngs of their telling you how they are feeling once of these less-than-stellar emotions, you decide now is the time for the "learning lesson". Or to finally let go of those words you have been fighting back, that are your real, true, honest opinion about their situation. And sometimes that seems faster than offering words of compassion, care and support.  

Granted, relationships are all about the honest opinions. On both sides. That is what we use to build love, trust, and respect off of. But there is a time and a place for them. 

I am not saying don'teverspeaknegativewordsoryourtrueopinionstosomeoneyouloveoryouarehorribleandgettingitallveryveryverywrong. But I think there is a time. And a place. And a way to deliver the message, possibly after they have stopped crying or feeling like they can't breath. 

I take those moments hard. Really hard.

When I am down. Crying. Sucking metaphorical muck off the floor, and feeling some crappy emotion, I feel a million times worse when someone whom I love and trust, tells me that "yup, that emotion. It IS  your worst nightmare. It really is that bad and oh, guess what, I've been thinking this for awhile and I just want to say how I REALLY feel."

It sucks. 

It makes you feel like maybe it is better to just stay down on the emotional floor, sucking your metaphorical emotional muck, and hope that the emotion you are feeling kills you. 

There is always the reminding yourself that this is coming from someone who loves you. Yes, that person, they love you and chance are, they are saying these things not with the intent to be hurtful, but because they have run out of, or don't know what to say to make that big ocean of emotion feel any better. Maybe they are having  a bad day too. So instead of the pep talk, or the "yea, this really sucks, and you are totally right to feel this way" even though they could say SO much more they keep their mouths shut; you get a "Here is how you are feeling AND a good ole' dose of shitty" on top of it. But they do love you. Which is such a hard pill to swallow, but you've that is the key to this all. 

And I know this. 

Because I have. been. there. done. that.

I have said some really not uplifting things to people when they are not at their best. I have regretted it. Even when it felt REALLY good to say something, I knew I hurt the other person. I knew I missed the opportunity to build them up. To make them realize that the dark spot they are in, it will pass. They will come out on the other side ok. That they are bigger, stronger and more loved than they can possibly imagine at that moment.

It is what we do....we hurt, we grow, we come back from it, and then we thrive. 

It is part of life. 

But I've been there. I've hurt someone, in the very way that people have hurt me. So I get it. I want to put this in my mind now. I want to be better. I want to try to not inflict the same hurt someone inflicted on me. Because while I love them, and I know they love me, kicking someone when they are down, no matter how hard it is to bite your tongue or how weary you are, isn't how we would want to be treated ourselves, so why do it to others?

I want to take what I am feeling right now. This hurt. I want to learn from this. That empowerment. Support. And that IwilllistentoyoucrynomatterhowmuchIthinkIamrightandknowhowyoucanfixit, is how I face those conversations with people who I know are lying on the proverbial emotional floor, sucking their own version of emotion muck. 

That golden rule we all heard growing up really is true. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

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