Last week gave me a great deal to think and reflect about. I had one very cross exchange from one erstwhile friend demanding to know why I had not been in touch. It would be easy to feel affronted by his tone but I considered what he was really asking and came to my own conclusion about what might be driving him. I decided to respond in a light rather than a defensive manner; isn’t it all too easy to get on the defensive? So often we see a slight where there is none?
Another cross response came back stating ‘look, I can’t do the analysis’ I suppose he was just saying basically ‘just give me the response I want, please don’t bore me with the details’ How can any of us do that? Isn’t the detail the crux of us? Even if it is on an unconscious level. The human need to be heard and hopefully to be understood is such a strong driver. My whole way of life, my work and family life has its basis in consideration and particularly when working with clients, be they group or individual, one is always looking for motives. If one can begin to understand another’s motives, walk a mile in their shoes, then life becomes so much more straightforward.
So how do we respond when someone asks us to be for them the opposite of what we are? I am clear it is all too easy to try to please and give the response that we think is wanted. In the meantime we perhaps lose a little bit of us and indeed lose some confidence in ‘just’ being ourselves.
I came to the conclusion that as friends we want very different things from relationships and so it will always have its limitations both in terms of depth and of time. But I am equally clear that I cannot change anyone but myself and unless I was happy to settle for a light-hearted surface relationship that was how it would always be. The odd thing is that he feels that the relationship is one of great depth? Ah the old idea of it is not the event itself but your experience of it.
Conversely, almost as if to get things back in balance, I met up with a dear life long friend who whilst having a top notch super successful career has realised that there was something missing for her. It seems to have become quite clear to her that self knowledge and awareness is where it is at and has set her path accordingly. I couldn’t be more delighted.