No wonder there are so many divorces. This society is more interested in absolutely everything above relationships. Check with Wall St. It’s the bottom line that’s important. CEO’s and shareholders don’t care that much about the people served. Have you been on an airplane lately? Since deregulation, airlines have been praised for improving the bottom line and it’s always short term bottom line. And how about our toilet paper these days. It’s becoming flimsier and narrower. It should be called toilet ribbon instead of toilet paper.
So you ask how does that impact you, your life? It does impact your life. You can tell me that you don’t fly, but you can’t tell me that you don’t use toilet ribbon.
And really, it not even about that. It’s about the air we all breathe. It’s a global warming of our relationships with each other. It’s the atmosphere of distrust. We get caught in proving we’re right rather than that we care. And we start to act the way we don’t like being treated.
Is that how you want to live? Not me.
I’m recently back from visiting family and friends. It’s a great way to get material on relationship faux pas. So here’s the family dynamic:
Single Aunt (no kids) and only niece have an 18 year loving relationship.
Auntie promises to get computer on a special discount available to her. Auntie gets busy at work, can’t arrange for discount yet, and finally calls in 3 weeks.
Lil Ms Niece says “No problem, I just got it through someone else. Auntie explodes: “ Why did you let me make all these calls when I’m is so busy?”
Little Ms Niece is surprised, hurt and insulted — and self-righteous.
“You better apologize to me if you ever expect me to speak to you again.”
That’s child talking to adult.
Who’s right? Who cares. It’s not about being right; it’s about the relationship. You don’t throw away an 18 year relationship, because somebody botched up.
Surprising Relationship Factoid #1: Relationship is more important than who’s right.
All right, that brings us to
Surprising Relationship Factoid #2: titled “Truth is slippery.”
It moves with the person. That’s how we have Republicans and Democrats and religions. The best estimates put the number of different religions at around four thousand two hundred (4,200) globally. And by the way, each one of them is right — or only one is right, yours.
How can you let rightness supersede relationship? Don’t let it be more important than relationship. You’ll miss all the love.
Back to our story
The way Auntie described her situation and sacrifice of time to search for the right person with the discount was colored by her sense of hurt that she wasn’t needed by her niece.
Lil Ms Niece’s account of events was colored by her sense of hurt that she wasn’t that important to her aunt.
What was the true account of events? Somewhere in the middle, I guess. They are still not talking to each other. May I remind you that these are people who love each other – for a long time.
So what have we learned so far?
- Surprising Relationship Factoid #1
Always Choose Relationship Above Right/Truth/Fair. Relationship is more important than who’s right.
- Surprising Relationship Factoid #2
Right is not constant and changes or moves with who is stating it
Truth is too slippery to be self righteous about. It’s just your truth.
And for our last
Surprising Relationship Factoid #3
Mind your own business.
This is how it got personal for me.
Of course, I wanted to talk to Lil Ms Niece; she’s like my niece. I wanted to tell her that her sustained anger had her behaving like a spoiled kid, definitely not becoming in a young adult. I wanted to remind her that her Auntie loves her.
Of course, I wanted to call Auntie and set her straight. She’s like extended family to me. I wanted to fix it. I still want to fix it. But it’s not my place to fix it. There are details that I don’t know, and I don’t know what they are. I may open a wound that I can’t understand and/or fix. It’s the basis of the Housewives series which is about Women helping women when it’s none of their business.
It was difficult for me to witness this drama and know I may be physically able to say the words, but that doesn’t mean that I can fix things. I may have bit my lip, but I kept my mouth shut.
Surprising Relationship Factoid #3
Mind your own business. Observers see, but don’t say. You are not the fixer of the world. Many things self-correct.