This year, I had fall outs with some friends, but this time, it was different.
Before now, I was used to waiting for people to realize they hurt me, and then acknowledging it and reaching out to me to apologize. I don’t know why it was that way for so long. Maybe because the people in my corner just felt I deserved apologies, or because they appreciated my presence more than by absence. Either way, it was a regular occurrence for people to apologize to me first and that made me quite relaxed.
This year, I began to view conflict differently. I realized that it really got to me when I wasn’t in good terms with anyone. By anyone, I mean even people who I’m not close with. There have been situations where I’d have a misunderstanding with someone and I wouldn’t be able to sleep overnight because the situation would keep replaying in my head. There was a particular one where I even dreamt about the person and I just knew it had to stop .
I found myself reaching out to people to apologize to them and talk things over when conflict happens. I’m not saying this happens immediately after the conflict, because many times, I have to put myself together and acknowledge where I went wrong and how the other person wronged me, and also to know if the hurt is something I can overcome by talking to them or not.
I realized that my nature is such that I’m not settled when I’m not in good terms with people. I don’t want to fight anyone forever. I don’t want to cut anyone off without looking back. I don’t want to think of people and have palpitations because I know we are not cool. I can’t be friends with everyone, yes. But I’d rather distance or other things cause my non closeness with someone, than it being as a result of conflict. I don’t want to have issues with other people continuously and not be free when I see them or remember them. It is very draining for me.
So, I actually reached out to the people who we weren’t in great terms and I had a non condescending, honest, kind, non insulting and resolution bound conversation with them. I apologized for the identified things I did or said wrong to them, and I made them know I wouldn’t repeat such again. The result of this was people apologizing in return and letting me know that they also should have done better and they are glad I reached out. It lifted such burdens off me and It’s one decision I’m grateful for.
How did I achieve this mindset? I’ll highlight few styles I adopted:
First, I did a honest appraisal of myself and I identified some reasons I fall out with people. One is that I argue a lot, and many times, these arguments could degenerate into unpleasantness. I decided to avoid arguments as often as I can even though I know I can’t stop arguing totally. Friends will argue, it’s okay, as long as both parties don’t make it a habit and they avoid condescension and insults while at it.
Another is that I’m quite opinionated and I find it hard to take in opposing views. I needed to let myself know that my opinions are not absolute and I’m not the wisest person there is. I began to speak more words like: “ I agree with you to an extent but I think…., I don’t entirely agree with you … You have a solid point and I think my view is slightly different after this conversation…. You are right… etc. I said more of these words and guess what? I didn’t die!
I recognized that I always felt I deserved an apology first and everyone should realize how they wronged me and then get across. Lol, it doesn’t work like that. I made conscious efforts to be more apologetic and genuine while at it. The other person is most likely as offended as you are and it isn’t a competition of who apologizes first, that’s basic primary school behavior and it had to stop.
I found out other things about myself and I decided to work on them. I’m still working on them.
The second thing I did more is to remember the goodness of people to me. I know that it is very hard. We are humans and when people offend us, we easily forget how good they’ve been to us. No matter the level of motivational speech about remembering people’s good doings when we are wronged, it doesn’t make it easy to do. It can be very tough because it is that one thing they did wrong that would echo in our heads. However , I’m here to tell you that it’s doable. You can do it. For instance, I was mad at a friend about the fall out we had and then I kept seeing this beautiful set of beads she bought for me. I tried to ignore the feeling but I just couldn’t, I saw the bead everyday and just knew that I needed to reach out to her. She did something I didn’t like, yes, but she wasn’t a bad person at all and we had had great times, so I hung on to that and made peace with her.
This is getting so lengthy, and you already know I try to avoid boring you. The summary of today’s post is that you should find better means to manage conflict, and you shouldn’t be listening to people who always advise you to ‘cut people off’. We all need one another, and we can’t continue shutting people out of our lives because of one misunderstanding or the other. This is not to say some people aren’t deserving of being cut off, oh yes some should be done away with especially when they’ve been given repeated chances and they still remain toxic. But please, allow people to redeem themselves, and try to be better yourself.
Today, we will do two things:
1. Highlight the reasons you think you always fall out with people. Make these reasons independent, don’t look at other people’s flaws while at it. Think to yourself the traits you believe might be the cause of having conflicts with people and write them down. The first stage is acknowledgment , so do this and if it is okay, post them on SM with our hashtag: #TheNovemberHappinessChallengebyOmotolaniee.
2. Reach out to a friend or family or acquaintance or anyone you’ve had a fall out with. Try to talk to them about it and apologize accordingly. Do it sincerely and give me a feedback here or/and SM.
I promised a picture everyday. Here you go, and I hope you smile.
I’ll be back. OBA