Originally Authored 12/27/14
WHAT IS GOING ON?
Have you ever been with a group of people and wonder what is wrong? Conversations are awkward and strained and you get the distinct feeling that someone in the room despises you? This happened to me recently. I want to be prepared the next time I go into a situation like this so I can love more purely and completely.
It started with a request from a friend that I wasn’t comfortable with. When my answer was no, he was deeply offended despite my explanation. I tried to mend the relationship but he wasn’t having it. In a way, it seemed that he had been looking for a reason like this to cut off all communication with me and stew, further justifying his position that life was difficult for him. Life actually had been quite cruel to him, but his reaction to our disagreement only served to create more drama and dysfunction in both our lives. (see Drama Kings and Queens)
WHAT IS 'IT'?
The emotional standoff lasted for quite a few years before I realized what was going on. Remember the cloud of dust that followed Pig Pen from the Peanuts comic strip? My friend brought a blackish, brownish, pukey green cloud that said, ‘I DESPISE you and I’m going to hold onto this grudge regardless of how much it hurts me or causes everyone else in the room to suffer. Although I suspected it wasn’t really about me, it was confirmed when another friend acknowledged that he had not spoken with her in several years either.
How do we go into a situation like this and work towards reconciliation?
One source I read talked about finding something in the other person that you would like to emulate. As I did this, some warm and loving feelings came back about my friend which were helpful the next time I saw him.
Have the courage to ask him (in private), ‘are we alright?’ It seems like you’re really angry at me. Can you tell me what that’s about?
Assert my feelings such as ‘I feel hurt when you won’t make eye contact with me or answer my questions because we have a lot of years together and we both love the same people! I would like you to treat me with more respect.
WHO'S 'IT' IN YOUR LIFE?
Think about that person who gets under your skin. I’m quite sure if we walked a mile in their shoes we would have more compassion about their behavior. The challenge is to set aside our own feelings and LOVE. Having negative feelings about them, judging their behavior, staying away from them or (worse) talking to others about it will do nothing to bring about reconciliation.