A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine admitted to me that she had found it hard to be completely honest with me when we first met. We had been talking about life, and its ups and downs, and I had just told her that I was learning more & more to take people as they are when she confessed that she had had to filter a lot of what she said to me when she first met me.
She said that it was because she was afraid of the way I'd respond - or react - to what she said. Her statement caught me by surprise, seeing as we've been friends for a while; and judging by where our friendships is now, I never imagined that she had ever felt that way about me! 😮
After our conversation, I couldn't help but think about what she had told me. I tried to remember who I was when I first met her; and slowly, I began to understand exactly what she meant...
I can't remember the exact details of what we used to talk about then, but I remember being very much against a lot of what I saw around me at the time.
I had just moved back to Europe after four years of being away, and was now living in a more liberal country than the one I'd lived in before. It was a whole new world to me, and I shared a lot of what I was feeling with her. Based on this memory, I can see how she came to that conclusion. And in the end I was happy that she had chosen to share how she'd felt then with me now.😊
I've always been the type of person who says exactly what I think - especially when I don't agree with something or someone else's opinion - and it was no different when I met her. I'm aware that it might rub some people the wrong way sometimes, but I'd never thought that it might portray me as a judgemental person.It's not my intention to push people away, but rather to draw them in.
My conversation with my friend that day brought something important to light - I have to be careful not to come across as judgemental, but rather as someone who has identified a problem and is willing to help find a solution to it. It's not my intention to push people away, but rather to draw them in.
Although I may not have portrayed this in the beginning, I'm happy to have learnt that I might be portraying it a bit more now. The fact that my friend and I have managed to stay friends and have also become more open with each other as time has gone by is evidence that God has definitely been working on that part of me.
There are still things I need to learn, and ways in which I am still growing, but at least I can now keep this in mind. Hopefully, with time I can learn how to use my words to help others rather than to hinder them from even asking for help in the first place.😉
I find it easier and more effective to write down how I feel rather than to say it.
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