I was having a conversation with my girls and I was trying to find something to say that would be worthy of great mom advice. So often I wonder if I am giving them the right advice and then I just blurted out, well, stop dwelling on what’s wrong in this situation. What do you like about this friend? She went into a litany of wonderful attributes this person has. There. Whew. I did it. I passed the mom test. Okay, I said something great and now she is focused on how good this friend is to her. She can forgive the other issue.
Wow. I feel like I just had an epiphany. So often we focus on the things that bug us about others. Not just in friendships, but in our relationships with our sweethearts too. We feel “judged” (do not like that word). We feel criticized. That is more like it. It is difficult to live up to the standard you think others have set. I know I feel that way. I do not like it when I feel like I am being told I should do something by someone who has not walked in my shoes. It makes my skin crawl. So what if instead of focusing on why this person is doing that, I focused on the nice things about them? I know it is hard, but it makes life easier. Give them the benefit of the doubt EVEN if you don’t think they would do the same.
You have many other alternatives, but if you want a healthy relationship with this person, take a step back and find the good. When you have done that, you can respond. It gives you time to assess the situation and make your life easier.