I hadn’t seen a friend of mine in a while. We’d known each other for nearly ten years and got together two or three times a month.
Then she started avoiding me. Not responding to contact. Being evasive. When I pushed, she admitted she hadn’t really been enjoying our time together for quite some time because it seemed to always be about me.
Now, after ten years, I really think at least an attempt at a conversation about it would have been in order. But okay, that’s not what she chose to do. That’s not what struck me as so odd about the incident. The odd part to me was that my perspective had always been that I kept trying to get her to talk more about herself, to take a more active role rather than just being a follower. But I couldn’t get her to do it.
Does that mean she’s wrong? Or does it mean I’m wrong? Neither. The way she saw it was honestly the way she saw it, just as my view is honestly the truth to me. It brings to my mind the Dave Mason lyric: There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys. There’s only you and me and we just disagree.
When two perspectives clash, the thing to do – in my book, anyway – is figure out where the disconnect is. But you have to start with the understanding that no one’s right and no one’s wrong, you just see it differently.
And here’s another point. Maybe in her mind she had tried to communicate this to me, but I didn’t get it. Just as I say I tried to get her to be more active and involved and she didn’t respond.
Here’s what it comes down to: COMMUNICATION. We had a lack of it and it cost us a friendship. I don’t know where the breakdown was. I tend to be very good at communicating and I thought I was here. But clearly, I wasn’t.
This is why my mission is to dramatically improve relationships – personal and professional – by dramatically improving communication. Failed this time, though, didn’t I? It happens. Makes you appreciate the wins more.
Your view is not the only valid one. Take the time and trouble to keep the lines of communication very open. If you can’t see the other person’s perspective, ask them to explain it to you.