In honor of the recent passing of the great Maya Angelou, I want to address one of my favorite quotes of hers which I’ve tried to live by:
Doesn’t this ring true for countless instances? It has in my life. I always find myself trying to include everyone and make new people feel comfortable. I thought humor was a good way of breaking the ice but my sarcasm often fell on deaf ears. Others found me intimidating and for that reason, I lost the confidence I was trying to provide.
I’m still often facetious in new circumstances but pay close attention to the reaction of those I am speaking with. If they appreciate my quips and fire back, then I know I am in good company. If I notice a change in body language or if they just ignore my comment, I understand to steer clear from salty comments and just continue the conversation normally. I have had to become very perceptive because I know how it feels to be in their position.
I have moved and lived all over the nation, even in different countries a few times. With this experience, I’ve kept long distance friendships that proved to be hard to maintain (until social media came bounding in). I have fond memories of my friends when I was younger and if I visit them today, all I think about is how they were back then. I often remember the good times because my feelings were those of joy and youthful enthusiasm. And I was young enough to not worry about the times I felt the opposite. But now when I keep in touch with more recent friends, I find it harder to look past the hurtful emotions I endured because they are fresh and still come to mind often.
I am a big advocate for forgiveness and know it can truly heal and transform relationships, but, unfortunately, not all relationships are worth saving. If you still feel the hurt and talk about it with that person and you still don’t see a change, it may be time to move on.
BUT there may be an old friendship in your life that can be rekindled and renewed because you have communicated your issues while talking through apologies. I have some of those to work through myself. I know I don’t have to turn over the new leaf today, but why wait? Why have any animosity towards a person when it may be over a small miscommunication? Time here is short and we should be spending it with off the charts joy!
Think about how you make people feel today and see what happens! Let me know your reactions in the comments below: