Sooner or later, somewhere, at some place with someone, you are bound to experience a badly bruised or broken relationship. Best friends quit speaking; families leave churches; individuals quit jobs; married couples separate or divorce to cope with, or in response to, irreconcilable differences.
There are those who grieve broken relationships yet feel they have invested too much to throw in the towel. In due time, they may take the higher road and extend an olive branch to the opposition, saying (without saying it), “I’m ready to let bygones be bygones.” In this instance, one may achieve faux peace but not genuine peace. You simply cannot step over the incidents that led to the breakdown and pretend they never happened. That will simply result in a pretend, fragile relationship, with both parties inclined to recommit the original sin. There is an alternative to ending a relationship, and to continuing as if nothing happened.
Genuine healing can result from agreeing to come together to discuss the offending incident (an argument, an inappropriate comment, unethical practice, misdirected anger) and the associated emotional dynamics.
When is the right time to re-engage with someone you wronged or with someone who wronged you?
- When the fact you are estranged is more upsetting than the original breach.
- When you surrender the need to be right and do not have to make anyone wrong.
- When you don’t have to set the record straight or re-prosecute the case.
- When you are prepared to share your experience and how it made you feel.
- When you are ready to listen to learn and not debate.
- When you are prepared to apologize for any way in which you may been complicit.
- When your ethics demand reconciliation.
Clearly, it is not okay for anyone to abuse verbally, emotionally, or physically anyone. It is not okay to yell at or mistreat anyone, and that includes treating them with contempt. It is powerfully okay to explore healthy ways to express deep feelings about a disagreement without going postal on anyone. The Golden Rule fittingly applies. Treat others the way you want to be treated, all the time, and be quick to apologize when you do not.
Randall E. Davey, CAP® is a financial advisor with Guide Advisors, Inc. In certain circumstances, he may offer insurance as a sole proprietor or through Guide Advisors, Inc. He resides with his wife, Bonnie in Mesa, Arizona. Randall can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 425.478.5668.
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