Yes, I'm aware that my particular expectations are a little more unhealthy and bordering (okay, perhaps fully crossed over) the line of extreme. But we all have them. We all have a mini list of relational expectations whether we're aware of them or not.
Face them, explore their possible implications. Critique them, and approach them from different angles.
Sometimes the biggest mistakes stem from the best of intentions.
I have an initiative ability to "read between" conversational lines. I am often perceptive to the unknowingly hidden or deliberately covered emotions in others. I can often "see" (spiritually) what's going on behind the words that are being spoken and the facade that's being put forward. This, however, becomes dangerously murky territory when I stop relying on the Holy Spirit to prompt me and give His revelation for His purposes in the lives of others, and instead start "head"-analyzing everything that could be going on in the heart of my friends.
We make assumptions all the time. Some of them, we convince ourselves, are just us being helpful, sensitive and mindful of the demands we place on the time of our friends.
"Oh, I assume they're just busy with work. ... I don't want to bother them. ... They'll come to me when they're ready."
We assume people need space, And they very well may.
But why not ask?
Communication, real communication where we can pocket our ego, is key to healthy, flourishing friendships.
Our most dangerous assumption occurs when we choose to guess what is going on in the mind and heart of someone else, when we assume how they feel toward us, or when we assign our own perceptions to their intentions.
Those of us who are prone to false guilt and carrying condemnation and shame will always assume that we've somehow done something wrong and the other person is now angry at us. It seems to be the default mode of the wounded soul.
Own what is legitimately yours to own, and take on nothing else! If you've been terrible with keeping in touch and it's something you regret, own it. Don't excuse it.
Apologize, make a deliberate effort to improve in this area, and then move forward.
But if you know, deep in your heart that you have done all that you can to contribute to a healthy friendship, then ditch the guilt and open the lines of communication.
Seasons change, people change.
Sometimes friendships end needlessly.And sometimes friendships need to end, in order for personal growth to occur.
Possessing the wisdom to know when to walk away, is invaluable. But let it never be motivated by pride.
Out of all the damaging behaviors and patterns of thinking that can occur within the dynamics of friendship, pride is the ultimate assassin.
Pride is the ultimate liar.
Pride seeks not to repair, but to cover over.
Pride murders intimacy.
Bek Curtis is an Australian-based blogger.
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