Sunday, November 29, 2009


I did something today that made me really proud. A friend of mine ignored my request for communication and it didn't throw me. Instead of getting upset and trying to change my friend, I evaluated what would be the best thing for ME to do in the situation. In other words, I focused on changing myself. This is going to be hard to explain because I don't want to hurt my friend by revealing who it is and what they offered to do for me.

First of all, I was proud yesterday for keeping a level head in a conversation that was getting a bit carried away. I stopped and said to my friend, "I don't want to make a decision today. Let's sleep on it and talk about it again tomorrow." My friend offered to do something that I think was not genuine. In other words, I think the moment got the best of my friend and they offered something that they didn't really intend to. I wanted to have a discussion about it and ask some questions, but I felt like both parties needed to take a step back and think clearly first. I mean, I didn't even know what questions I wanted to ask in the heat of the moment. Anyway, today we did talk on the phone but my friend didn't talk about the offer again. When I asked my friend directly, they said they were going to keep thinking about it.

Now normally, if someone needed time to think something over, and it didn't impact me, I would say, "Of course. Take all the time you need." But in this case, it does impact me pretty substantially in terms of time and money and a decision needs to be made pretty quickly. And this friend decided that a discussion was not going to happen for whatever reason. They are going to make a decision independent of me and I have to assume that I'm supposed to do the same. I decided that I would just have to make the decision alone because there are factors that can not be discussed before a decision must be made. See, my friend is no longer available due to travel obligations.

This is where I typically would have thrown a tantrum. "Why won't you include me in the discussion? I have questions and I need more information! We should make major decisions together!" Blah. Blah. Blah. Then I realized that I already knew this is how my friend works. They never discuss decisions that impact me with me. They just keep information to themselves until they decide I need to know something. I am completely aware of this pattern. In addition, my friend is completely aware of how this infuriates me because I have asked them on multiple occasions to include me in a discussion about major decisions that impact me. So here we are. We both know the other one's modus operandi. I can't get mad at my friend for just being themselves.

What I can do is stop playing into this behavior. This time I'm not going to sit around and fret over what my friend "might" have meant, or whether or not I should move forward before the door of opportunity closes even without my questions answered. I am not going to badger my friend for more information again and again. I am simply going to take the knowledge that my friend didn't want to discuss this with me and make the decision for myself. Whether the offer was serious or not, I am not going to accept it. I will not invest my valuable time or money into an enterprise with someone who is either unwilling or incapable of showing me basic respect. And I think this is a respect issue. I have said to my friend, in no uncertain terms, that when they do not discuss things with me, it hurts my ability to make decisions for myself. Withholding information that impacts me is disrespectful.

Is this a maturity thing? I don't know. I genuinely believe that adults are capable of discussing their position with others. I want to have people around me who can tell me their opinion, ask questions and answer my questions, and not feel like they have to protect themselves. Just because I discuss options with someone does not mean I will decide for them. Nor do I assume that we will conclude in agreement. I want us all to retain our personal power and yet be able to share in the process of the decision. This is a basic courtesy, right?

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