It’s Not You it’s… Oh Wait, it’s You

The relationships in my life are incredibly important to me. Whether they’re romantic, familial, or of the friend variety, I respect and love the people that I share my life with. With that being said what happens when that relationship seems to be wrecked beyond repair? A friendship for example; after a gnarly argument, how do you get back to the place before words were said and feelings were hurt? Is there a point of no return and all hope is lost? These are questions that I’ve been wracking my brain with for the better part of 2 months.

I pride myself for not being able to hold a grudge (or so I thought). Typically, if I get into a tiff with anyone whether I’m right or wrong, the storm doesn’t last long at all. I just don’t see the need to hold onto such animosity for a long period of time. I just don’t have it in me. I understand that arguments/misunderstanding are apart of life and they will always happen. More often than not, bonds are usually strengthened after a fight in my experience.

I tend to adopt boxing rules when engaging in an argument. My requirements when dealing with conflict is that both parties A: fight fair,  B: No blows below the belt or kidney (metaphorically speaking of course), and C: after all is said and done everything is left in the ring. Now, in my 23 years on this earth, these methods have worked well for me, so much so whenever I am faced with an argument, I’m not even phased with it because it’s only a temporary thing. One thing I’ve learned, is not everyone plays by the same set of rules.

I’m always about fairness; quid pro quo if you will. I don’t put much stock in astrology, however as a Libra, I do believe they were spot on when it comes to my need for things to be even. When I argue, I typically stick to facts and how they made me feel. I also  am a generous apologizer if I am the transgressor, and I expect my “opponents” to give me the same curtesy  Unfortunately, in this world not everything is fair. “Fair? Fare is what you pay to ride the bus. That’s the only fair I know.” If you’ve watched the first season of Weeds then you’ve heard that line. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a whole lot of truth to that statement. But I’m getting off topic.

For the first time ever, I am having an extremely difficult time letting go of an argument. First, the fight definitely was not fair. Second, low blows were dealt that I’m still recovering from. Third, obviously not everything was left in the ring by both parties involved. This one definitely did not fit neatly into my box of “how to argue fairly”. After “smoothing things over, I find myself questioning the integrity of the friendship.

I am not someone who freely shares feelings with people. My thoughts are my own and for the most part are tightly kept in my crazy little brain. So it really stings to have a friend that knows you well, use your thoughts/feelings against you. It’s quite cruel actually; and during my latest argument, that is exactly what my friend did. I was definitely taken aback by the hostility of what occurred, it was like an argument that you would have with an enemy, not a good friend. Even now, I still feel the sharpness of her words and it still hits hard. Granted, I could have taken pot shots too, but it’s just not in my nature. I sure as hell thought about it though. I have forgiven my friend and I am not longer upset with our initial problem, however that argument did open up a new can of worms now I’m at a crossroad.

My dilemma is this: now knowing what I know, how do I go back to business as usual? I have no desire to share things with that friend anymore; not after seeing her carelessness of my feelings. Maybe with more time, this will blow over. Our friendship seems more like a mirror that has been broken into tiny minuscule little pieces that have been glued back together. It’s whole again, but it’s definitely not in the same form that it once was.

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Live on Forever

This time the old adage is not true; words really do hurt. Especially if you know your opponent’s insecurities. It has always been funny to me when people tell you to “brush things off” or “don’t let it get to you”. Uh, if I knew how to do that, don’t you think that would be the first thing I’d do? It’s not like I want to sit and feel the sting of someone’s words over a long period of time. I’m not a masochist by any means. Given the right combination of words, they can leave a gaping subconscious wound that goes right for the jugular. In my opinion, taking a punch to the face is a hell of a lot easier than taking a verbal tongue lashing. Bruises on your skin heal more quickly than bruises to your ego.

I know that the “sticks and stones” mantra comes from a good place. It is meant to inspire the disenfranchised to believe that the only power others have is the power that we give them. I do agree, however they forgot one little symbol in that equation: time.It takes time to heal for verbal wounds. Ok, there may be some who are coated in teflon (good for you, I secretly hate/envy you). But for the rest of us mere mortals, words do hurt; and forgive and forget is easier said than done.

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