I have been down with a throat infection for more than a week. That sort of blunted some of my senses while sharpening others. I can’t smell or taste much because my nose has been blocked for so long. On the other hand, my sense of appreciation or dissatisfaction have sharpened. It makes me feel warm inside when people ask how I’m feeling and makes me angry when I’m being told bluntly that I’ll be all right in a few more days. But I’m a lucky girl: I had a friend making white tea and a very tasty picnic for us yesterday; on top of that her lovely boys entertained and kept my toddler safe while we were having a yarn. Best picnic ever since I had a child!!As I write hubby has taken charge of Emms and taken her to church so I can lie down for a couple of hours. Bliss!!
As I said, some of my other senses have sharpened and this morning hubby and I had a very philosophical chat about how we see other people, how we react to them and how we allow people’s opinions to shape us. We have different strategies when it comes to dealing with conflict and we have been discussing them extensively so here goes…
Hubby is the sort of person who never falls out completely with anyone, even if the person in question had done things that really hurt him or his business. He rarely if ever has harsh words with anyone and always finds a way to restore that relationship. He believes in always seeing the positive side in people and never focusing on the negative, as that approach makes one bitter and multiplies the negative incidents. He believes that people can’t really hurt you unless you allow them to do so and that it is your choice to be happy in life, no matter how other people see or relate to you. He would always try and mediate conflicts when he sees people fight because he believes in harmony and civility. He also believes in giving people second chances after he has forgiven them in the hope they can change.
I, on the other hand, have a more clean-cut approach. Lack of courtesy, sincerity or respect, gossips, sneaky behaviour and hidden agendas don’t rate high with me. Once I assess someone(and my assessment is based on repeated incidents of the same nature and not an one-off occurrence) as not desirable in my life at that time, I withdraw. I don’t do it because I hate them. I don’t do it because I have an unforgiving heart. I do it so that I can protect myself and my own from other similar disagreeable events.I also do it to give the people in question a chance to reconsider their behaviour and change it. I want the relationships I have with other people to be well worth my time and pleasant for both parties and I don’t consider a self-sacrificial approach of “I will be quiet and suffer and maybe one day the person in question will see the error of their ways.” Some people are, sorry to say that, too thick skinned to get it in that way. I don’t generally give people second chances unless they return in my life with the clear understanding that we have a mature relationship in which putting the other down, lying and having hidden agendas is unacceptable. Most people don’t return but with the ones that have returned I have what I call “rarefied” relationships. Clean of all nonsense and pretense, that is.
I know what you’re thinking! How do two people who think so differently resolve conflicts with each other? Well, we have learned over the years to agree to disagree, as hubby puts it. He’s still not happy when I take breaks from important relationships, like that with my brother recently, but has come to understand that letting people walk all over me is not the option either. I am still not happy when I see him pursuing relationships with people I don’t find trustworthy but I came to realise it’s his choice and I can’t do much more than state my opinion. And overall, we have come to agree on one point: the way people see you does not necessarily have to define you in any way, unless you choose to go along with it!