Saturday, July 27

He Who Has Friends Must Show Himself Friendly, Revisited

         How was your Saturday?

It's a day off for me, from the inn. So, today, I'm bumping up this post written last year in October. Here it is:

         I relate with someone who is emotionally scarred.  I'll call him Bob.  As a kid, his mother constantly created drama and topped that off by yelling at him, a lot.  Unfortunately, his hearing isn't the best, he has tinnitus---constant ringing in his ears--- the result of
childhood abuse.  Yes, that's sad he suffered emotional and psychological abuse.

         What is also tragic is how Bob's childhood shaped him.  My heart goes out to him.  Yet, I've learned that I want to be responsive to, but not responsible for his feelings,  his reactions or his past pain.  To do otherwise is crossing boundaries, big time, and being codependent, which guarantees misery, which would ruin the serenity I know.

        My personality is an odd mix.  Although I love investing hours alone, studying, researching, it is easy engaging with others, connecting, and having a really good time.  I figure you've gathered that about me.

        I'm can be this way with total strangers, like tonight.  I met Gunter, from Germany.  Not long ago, he moved to the island town where I live, Alameda, after working for years in Switzerland.

       Our bikes introduced us to one another.  He was on his way into Juanita's, the Mexican Restaurant, and I was on my way home, leaving Bowzer's next door.

       Gunter and I exchanged greetings at the mutual inverted "U" pole used for attaching locked bikes. It's in front of Bowzer's.  One thing led to another and we ended up talking for twenty minutes, before I said I had to go----I had to cycle home.  It's wonderful meeting others. I'm pretty happy with who I am.

       Why this story? Well, because of the contrast with Bob.  He stays to himself; I understand that.  He grew up with abuse and learned as a child that it was safer to isolate.  I'd respond that way if it weren't for the spiritual awakening I know.

        However, his coping methods have lost their validity. He no longer lives with his mother; he is no longer a child.  He does have the psychological and emotional wherewithal to respond in a healthier way to stress.  Unfortunately, his past has shaped his character; he responds to life as he did when he was seven years old.

       Too bad.

       I'd stay to myself, too, like Bob,  if it weren't for the growth I've experienced, the a result of inventorying and overcoming character defects in my life.  I'd be wounded, like Bob, were it not for having amazing mentors and working on my codependency, the result of growing up in a dysfunctional home.

       For the past two days, Bob and I crossed paths.  Not one word has been spoken.  He's accustomed to me greeting him.  Well, I haven't.  I've learned that to have a friend I need to be one (Proverbs 18:24).  He hasn't been much of one and I have a need for reciprocity and mutuality.  So, for the past couple of days I've tended to business, seeing Bob, but haven't spoken to him.

       Today, we addressed the silence.  I mentioned my need for equality and his need to be friendly, if he wanted a relationship with me.  He got my point.  As I've said many times, we get what we tolerate, we train people how to treat us.

       It's thrilling, being freed from the passive manipulations of others.  I relate with people who are friendly.  I speak my truth calmly, avoiding judgment when expressing my needs, like I did today with Bob.  To read more about this subject, click here.

How About You? 
How have you recently taken a stand with someone? How did you feel when you expressed what concerned you, with to the other person?How did it turn out?  Let me hear your comments. Thanks!


Theresa Elander said...

How have you recently taken a stand with someone? How did you feel when you expressed what concerned you, with to the other person?How did it turn out? Let me hear your comments. Thanks!

Recently I stood my ground, softly, with a person who had not been clear with me about her expectations. She us a fairly new person in my life.

I explained my point of view. It felt good to express how the situation unfolded for me. She expressed her view and intentions.

We agreed that the relationship was more important than the misunderstanding.

I learned something about her. I understand more about where she is coming from. I will be more careful in the future with her.

Pablo said...

Dear Theresa,

Thank you, for your answers to this post's questions. I love it when guests reply. What need was met, expressing your values to this new friend. How was your response to this woman different from how you related with others, in the past, who frustrated you?

A curious innkeeper

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.