A Bakery Conversation
We sat in a little mom and pop bakery on a random Saturday morning. My friends and I do this often. I think it’s because we grew up in a Christian atmosphere that we simply enjoy food and conversation like no other group of people.
There are those that drink and party… and there are those who eat and chat. We are the eat-and-chat people all the way!
This little bakery had everything going for it. Freshly baked croissants and the aroma of recently brewed coffee overtook the room. My girlfriend and I sat in a far corner chatting away about all things life related over some delicious omelets and buttered bread.
We can lose track of time this way. I think it’s a perk of having genuine friendships. I always leave the room a little wiser that how I came in.
In this particular conversation, after laughing and catching up, my friend actually had something important to talk to me about.
See, in any healthy friendship or relationship there is something that will inevitably happen. At some point someone will say or do something that is hurtful to the other.
I believe that this is a crossroads for any relationship. Once you find yourself in the middle of the tension, this is where your character as a person will really show off.
In this story, your home girl was the offender. Yeap. I unconsciously did a thing that I didn’t anticipate would be hurtful toward her. It was such a sensitive subject that I won’t even give the specifics here.
All I’m going to say is that social media was involved and I learned that people really are watching. Therefore, we must learn to be wise and mindful of our social interactions.
Anyhow, it’s one thing to be the offended and a complete other to be the offender. It is a matter of “when” not “if” we make mistakes or hurt other people. A lot of times it’s unintentional but just because we didn’t mean to, doesn’t mean the other person didn’t feel it.
So here is my mental run-through when a situation like this happens.
ONE) Accept you made a mistake.
Have you ever said or hear somebody say a half-apology? It goes something like this:
“I’m sorry IF what I did/said hurt you.”
Well, smarty-pants, if it hadn’t hurt me, I wouldn’t be bringing it up, huh?
That correct phrase is, “I’m sorry THAT I hurt you.” It sounds so simple and extremely easy to say but in order for those six words to come out of your mouth you must die to the biggest thing inside of you: your ego.
Your ego doesn’t want to accept that he/she made a mistake. It would make you imperfect. It would make you inconsiderate. It would make you childish. The thing is, when we accept that we messed up, it actually makes us the virtuous version of those things. It doesn’t make you imperfect, it makes you real. It doesn’t make you inconsiderate, it makes you human. It doesn’t make you childish, it makes you mature.
Human, real and mature are far better qualities than prideful.
TWO) Acknowledge how it made that person feel.
A really long time ago I was talking to a guy that lacked clarity. Maybe he knew it and was deceitful; maybe he didn’t and was confused. Either way, he said he wanted one thing but his actions showed that his intentions were completely different.
In the end this made me feel a little lost. I thought I had something that I didn’t. I thought I knew a person but I was wrong.
If this guy would have said something along the lines of “I’m sorry that I mislead you. I realize how this made you feel. Please forgive me.” – Well, how could one argue with that?
It would have helped me understand faster that I was not to blame and that there wasn’t anything I did wrong. I would have saved myself some bummed out nights wondering where I made a mistake… when it really wasn’t about me at all.
When we acknowledge the other person’s feelings, it brings them freedom. We help them embrace it and not reject it; which will in turn help them move on faster than they would if they continued to linger in that toxic emotion.
Acknowledging someone’s feelings is probably the best way to show that person that even though we hurt them, we care.
THREE) Find a resolution.
Let’s go back to the little bakery and the conversation I was having with my friend. I obviously heard her out and transported myself to the moment of my transgression. Hehe.
I accepted that it was my mistake and I acknowledged how that made her feel. I told her that if it were me, I would probably feel the same way. I did explain my reasoning, which she in turn accepted. But I didn’t justify it. It was wrong of me as a friend to have done what I did and I needed to arrive at a resolution.
There was something that I had to decide in my heart that I would never again do at her expense. Ever since that conversation I have been intentionally aware of my social interactions. It’s not extreme. If I were to worry about what everybody would feel of my every post, well, I’d never post anything again!
But I am cautious with that one thing. If I fail again at that one thing, then this time, it’s really out of my own heart… because now I know better. There is a saying that states,
“Do the best you can until you know better and then, when you know better, do better.”
The Cherry On Top
That morning when I was just on my way to meet my friend for breakfast, I was excited to spend that quality time with her. A couple of hours later when we parted ways, I felt blessed. I am blessed by the quality of friends that surround me.
One of the things that I made sure to say to her in that conversation was “THANK YOU!”
Gratefulness is the cherry on top.
Any other person would have been offended, never brought it up and slowly ended a friendship of what already seems like a lifetime. But she did the opposite. She took the time to sit me down in front of her and bring it up. That takes courage.
That shows me how important I am to her. So important that she rather make it awkward than avoid me forever.
Friendships are building blocks in life. So in our journey of creating a life we love, let’s not forget that it’s impossible to do it alone. We need one another. In life, PEOPLE are what is most important. So let’s create a life where the people we love are close to us through forgiveness and not far away because of pride.
A Message To My Friend
My dear friend, you know who you are. I love you tremendously and even though we will continue to fail each other, know that I am here for the long haul. God brought us together when we were just little girls who thought we knew far more than our short years. Ha!
But He let us mature together. I plan on being an old viejita next to you. Sippin’ cocktails in Greece during our retirement and making a movie out of it. I am blessed to have you.