Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Disagreements...As A GrownUp.

Eventually, you realize that not everyone will agree with what you have to say or the way that you do things.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  You will also realize that some people have thinner skin than others.  That is their issue, not yours.  Many folks in today’s generation are part of the “everybody gets a ribbon” mindset and this is going to be a detriment when it comes time for them to survive life.  In “life” not everyone gets a ribbon just for participating.  Not everyone is going to be your friend either.  That shouldn’t even be a goal.  Do you know how much more convoluted your life would be if you tried to acquire or maintain everyone as a friend?  I don’t even want to imagine.

 If you look at friendships as a series of checkboxes of commonality, not a one will check every box but they should have at least one box checked.  I feel like you need to have at least one thing in common.  It’s the one thing that you can kind of fall back on when you’re exploring the personalities of each other.  My best friend and I, for example, we have a shared history and we each love her kids like crazy—obviously, her love for them is deeper and more enriched and more committed but there is still a common love for them.  The rest of our lives are very, very different.  BUT, it’s the shared history that makes it so that we can continue to grow and learn from each other.  Think of it like a “regroup” or a “recharge”—it’s the place that we come back to before venturing out again.

In some cases, where there might have been enough boxes checked, they become “unchecked” or, maybe, the wrong box becomes “checked” and you have to just let that person go.  An example for that:  I’d been friends with a woman for more than two decades.  Over the course of a couple months, a few years ago, we had a disagreement that resulted in her throwing everything that I had ever discussed with her—mistakes that I’d made, bad decisions, etc—in my face as a defense to me disagreeing with an action that she had taken.  This checked the “betrayal” box and I ceased communications with her.  I don’t take offense to someone calling me out on bad decisions—my best bud has done it many times when I’ve been a bonehead—but I do take offense if it’s done in a poor manner and, most especially, if it makes the person doing it a hypocrite.  Don’t use the same manner of my dumbassness to call me out.  You just look stupid and you totally lose the point that you’re trying to make.  Simplest example: Don’t say ice cream is bad while eating a vat of Ben & Jerry’s.

This logic can be applied to platonic relationships and intimate relationships.

The other aspect of it is that a total stranger can easily call out my dumbassness or pain-in-the-ass tendency and, provided they can engage in a grownup conversation, I will eventually come around to their way of thinking and concede their point.  I have gained at least two friends this way.  They gave me shit for something, stated the reasons why their point was (totally) valid, and I couldn’t help but agree.  When you’re a grownup, you realize that it’s okay to have disagreements.  Just make sure that your shit is straight before you call someone out on theirs.

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