‘When you’re fighting with your spouse, how can you win when the person you love the most in the world is losing?’ ~ Dr. Phil McGraw. Hi everyone! I hope all is going well with you this chilly February morning. We’re okay in our household just trudging along day by day. Today I wanted to abstractly touch on an experience I have been going through this year because I think that the lessons I’ve learnt might be useful to someone else, so I’m passing them along.
Something Dr. Phil said on one of his shows years ago has stuck with me all these years on: ‘when you’re fighting with your spouse, how can you win when the person you love most in the world is losing?’ Deep, right? I think it is a most insightful awakened sentiment. Over the years as I’ve mulled over this quote, it eventually occurred to me that this sentiment can apply to all loving relationships, whether spousal, parental, collegial or social.
The anatomy of a fallout is such that it arises from hurt feelings. It’s rarely ever one incident but rather a series of fallouts, and that one last final straw that eventually break the camel’s back. As is frequent in such dynamics, one or both parties might be hurt, angry and upset from the fallout. And here’s where it gets tricky.
The issue usually revolves around the question of whether the fallout can be alleviate and the friendship or relationship rescued, assuming it’s an important one to both parties. This will require that one of the parties overcome their feelings of hurt and pain in order to reach out to the other party to try and work through the fallout and possibly restore the friendship or relationship, or go their separate ways cordially at the very least.
My advice is to be the bigger person every chance you get. Why you ask? Because of the growth opportunity silly! Be the firefighter and get the fire extinguisher to go put out the fire first! The ‘bigger’ person will usually take it upon themselves to set their feeling aside and attend to the task at hand, regardless of their guilty-not-guilty role in the fallout.
Think of it this way, no one is ever blameless; it usually takes two for the perfect storm to occur. For growth to occur within you, you have to turn ALL your attention internally and look at your role. I don’t care if you’ll need a microscope but by George get one and do it. Analyze everything. Introspect. Dig deep and find fault with yourself. See how you could have done things differently. Leave no stone unturned.
What’s the other party doing while you’re going all about falling on your own sword? That really isn’t any of your business. That they come to the realization of their participation in the fallout is irrelevant to you. If they have any sense in them they should. But since you have no control over that, leave them to their vices and focus on grabbing this opportunity for your own personal growth.
Being the hero will also require an acknowledgment of the role we ourselves played in the fallout and an apology to the other party regardless of whether they themselves acknowledge their role and apologize or not. Why you ask? Again, because what they decide to do or not to do in none of your business. It isn’t your business because you have no control over it. It also isn’t your business because like I said here in this post, you can never convince someone they are a bad person or even that they’ve wronged you. So unless they come to that realization themselves, you’re wasting your time and possibly making things worse.
So you go on and do your part. Be the bigger person and perform the first self-surgery on yourself and your role in the fallout. Step up to the plate and be the hero. Then proceed to bravely fall on your own sword as they watch you bleed out, not realizing that you’re actually healing. You may welcome them to do the same if you feel so inclined, but you cannot pressure then into it. Live and let live, it’s the only way.
If the relationship or friendship is restored, you gained everything in maturity and lessons learnt. An if after all this the relationship or friendship is still lost, you can walk away proudly knowing you did your part. There’s no shame in loving or caring for a loved one, take pride in it and walk with your head held high.
A word of caution though, have no expectations. The majority of people have an inability to self-analyze or introspect. Most go through life blaming everyone and everything for their predicament, never realizing they are the common denominator in every equation. So move on along wholeheartedly to the next friendship or relationship, and this you will do splendidly knowing you did everything you could. After all, there is no comfier pillow that a clean conscience. Cheers, Grey xoxo