It’s time for me to clear the air
Published 3:42 am Wednesday, November 13, 2019
It was just a passing veiled look in my dear friend’s eyes, but I saw hurt there. My first thought was one of confusion. I had not meant to offend by my comment. I was only stating the facts so what in the world could have hurt her feelings? The moment passed as quickly as it came, and she covered her emotions with a smile.
On most occasions, the things I say or do are perceived exactly in the light they were intended, or at least I hope they are. But occasionally, the same actions or words may be misinterpreted by someone. I tend to be matter of fact, and don’t usually whitewash things, but I try to speak the truth without being offensive.
Why would the same words be understood by one person and misunderstood by another? Why do people get their feelings hurt? Well … I know if I’m not feeling particularly well one day or if I give in to worry over a situation that I tend to be more sensitive.
Pride says to let people grow up and realize that every little thing is not about them, and to be honest it is a temptation to disregard overly sensitive people and ignore them. But humility speaks of thinking of others as more important than myself. In mulling this over I almost want to argue that there was nothing wrong with what I said, and my intentions were definitely not meant for harm.
The voice of the Savior speaks quietly and tenderly to my heart.
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
So what would I want someone to do if they knew they had inadvertently hurt my feelings? I suppose an apology would be the best thing to clear the air, and let me know that my feelings mattered to them. I think that holds the key … letting people know that their feelings really matter.
My phone is on the charger so I can put off the phone call a little longer! I’m sure my friend will be gracious when I call so why in the world do I dread it? I suppose many people face interpersonal wobbles head on, but I learned as a child to sweep things under the rug and not deal with them.
Just goes to show that people can overcome their past, and choose to do things a different way. I grew up in some serious dysfunction, and avoiding healthy dialogue was paramount in my childhood home. Letting misunderstandings fester and never dealing with small things usually makes them grow and loom larger and larger.
My phone finally charged, and I called my friend. She must have been busy because I got her answering machine. I left a long detailed apology. Was that a chicken way out? Maybe a little bit, but I’m making progress, so don’t judge!
Jan Penton Miller can be reached at email@example.com.