Relationships are hard work. I’m in a role at work where I am trying to help two owners work through some deep and serious disagreements. I don’t know if they will be willing to back up and talk to each other again and it’s all because of disagreements that communication months ago could have fixed. I’ve been in a marriage where it was hard work and the marriage failed. Sometimes bad things just go bad.
I’ve recently been exposed to a situation where one party didn’t underderstand another. Misunderstandings can sometimes be created by expectations placed on another person without communication. And, that’s exactly what happened in the situation. One party expected something from the other. The second party wanted something different. The next day the first party was still down in the dumps. Not angry or mad, just dejected.
That’s when the call came. The second party called and asked if something was wrong. The first party tried to blow it off. He knew part of his issue was his own expectations of what he wanted. They second party then started probing and before long figured out there was an expectation that wasn’t met. Here’s what the second party said next, “I’m so sorry, I was focused on what I wanted and didn’t try to see it from your point view nor did I ask. Please forgive me.” Well, what can the first party say except yes unless they want to be a real horses behind.
Here’s the cool part. As the first party is relaying this to me, he makes this comment. “Knowing the other party actually cared enough to call me and find out and then apologize made me realize two things. First, I had put my expectation on them without communicating it. Second, I was thinking of what I wanted more than what they wanted. Now I feel closer to them than before.”
A bad situation and the resulting open communication made the relationship better. Good can come out of bad after all. Good can come out of anything. Look at lives around you, lives that have been broken, dreams crushed, families torn apart, heartache and hurt, financial struggle…the bad situations are plenty. Yet, when we look close we can often find something good coming out of the bad. As a believer, I have seen how God works. His son, hanging on a cross was horrific but the world was given forgiveness through that bad experience.
Good can come out of bad. The question is whether we will lay our pride and our desires down to accept what is good or will we hang on to the bad with bitterness and anger. It’s our choice. My friend is celebrating a deeper and more meaningful relationship because there was communication and because both parties chose to lay down their armor, give up their protection and seek peace through their vulnerability.
Grace and peace.