What Can You Do To Right A Wrong?
A PERSONAL THOUGHT:
I want to start by saying I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and healthy Memorial Day weekend. I received some emails during the past week asking if my post tonight would be a tribute to Memorial Day. Honestly, with all the tributes that go out today, I decided this year not to make do my traditional Memorial Day tribute. however, I would like to address one question I received the most. "Why do we say Happy Memorial Day on a day that should be is filled with remembrance and sadness for those who gave their lives in the service of their country?" Depending on your religious beliefs, death oftentimes is a celebration. A celebration that an individual is at peace in the everlasting arms of God. They no longer have the problems and burdens of life and can live out eternity in peace. We have picnics, see our family and friends, go to a parade, and make a friendly gathering out of this day. Of course, there is also the commercial side of this holiday with product sales and shopping. However, within all of this comes remembering honor and the ultimate sacrifice many have made to protect our countries values, what we stand for, and our freedom. I do believe over the decades. The meaning has somewhat been lost. Try to look at it this way, which is what I choose to do. We are honoring their ultimate sacrifice by celebrating their life, as well as their passing.
Whenever a family loses a loved one for any reason, it is a solemn and sad day. However, it is also a celebration of the peace they have now found, and we are also celebrating their life. That is the way I choose to think about it. In addition, the impact is much different for those who never lost a family member to war versus those that have. With all of this said, to say "Happy Memorial Day" is NOT ignoring the ultimate sacrifice these men and women have made. It is a celebration of their life. Now on to tonight's post.
The number of requested topics I receive regarding relationships is the #1 topic requested. However, I can't talk about relationships week after week, so I try to mix it up. The past few blog posts have been related to social issues our society is facing. Therefore, this week I am going to switch it up. I kid you not when I tell you I receive at least 60 - 80 topic requests a week. I actually put the topic subjects into a spreadsheet to help be separate duplicate topics. I input them by date so I can follow some semblance of order regarding older versus newer requests. This week's topic, "What Can You Do To Right A Wrong," I came up with due to the numerous requests from women, and yes, men as well, complaining about their significant other that can never admit when they are wrong. No matter what proof they provide, they are always the wrong ones. The conversation always gets twisted back to the other, pointing the blame to them. The requests may vary, but the underlying problem is the same. Having experienced this myself in a relationship, I was in. I thought it would be a great topic to talk about.
As with anything in life, before we can fix anything and be sure it will not break down again for the same reason, we need to know and understand why it broke in the first place. People spend millions going to counselors for this same issue. Most never see it through to the end. Why is that? Why even go if you are not going to see it through? Well, the reason is simple. The human condition tells us that we DO NOT want to hear when we are wrong as people. It's not a mental disorder. It's a human characteristic. Everyone wants to be right. However, no one can be right every time. Therefore, when the session gets to the point where the root of the problem surfaces, people do not want to accept or take ownership of the part they played and stop going. Therefore, the issue is never resolved. This often leads to a failed relationship because people can only take something that upsets them for so long, no matter who they are. Being in a society where everything is disposable, and 48% of first marriages end in divorce in the first year, and 62% of second marriages end in divorce, and 74% of third marriages end the same way, people find it easier to move on, and the system makes that very easy.
With all that said, there are times when a mental disorder can be involved, which will require medical intervention as well. These mental disorders can happen for various reasons, most of which have to do with a person's past and something they usually fail to address. Sometimes in life, the 'ignore it, and it will go away' approach isn't going to cut it. To make this process work, there are a few things that MUST occur.
1. An individual must take responsibility for their actions,
2. An individual must hold the other accountable for their actions,
3. Do not enable this type of behavior,
4. Never lose your patience and become angry,
5. All parties must agree to have open and honest communications without anyone placing blame or point the finger.
Like it or not, we are all accountable for our actions. Also, we all have a responsibility to others that are close to us in our life. Wow, that sounds so easy. Well, not so much. Here is a link to an excellent article courtesy of wikiHow. It is an excellent read.
STEP BY STEP PROCESS:
One of the most common issues that people share is a lack of patience. Let's face it, we all want it yesterday. There are very few things in life that need to be resolved that can be resolved that quickly. Many years back, actually as far back as when I attended college, I was previously raised in a 100% Italian family. My grandparents, who came over from Italy, lived on the first floor. They defined old-school thinking and tradition. Put. My grandfather was never wrong. If he looked a the sky and said it was red, everyone better agree it was red, and NO ONE could tell him different. Clearly, my parents were more modernized in their thinking, and my mother was not the type NOT to speak her mind. Therefore, you could imagine the issues and arguments I grew up with. However, and crazy as this sounds, always under the umbrella of love and family. It doesn't make much sense. Well, it certainly didn't to me until I became older. When I left the nest at 17, I now had to deal with the real world. Not on a part-time basis like when you are a teenager, on a full-time basis. I soon found out the hard way that I was NOT always right. For example, if I said the paper was blue when it was white, someone or a professor would gladly stand up and point out to me I was wrong. Of course, this got me angry. Well, after a semester of working hard, thinking I would have great grades, I found they weren't as great as I expected and certainly not up to the standard I knew I was capable of. So why?
In my first semester in a physiology course, I had to take. I received a D. I went to the professor to discuss my grade. He was kind enough to meet with me to discuss it. He told me this is what he told me, and I will never forget these words because they changed my life. "Mr. Rondina, you did not receive a D from me because your work is bad, or you don't try, and you don't have the intelligence to get an A. I gave you a D because all your work showed consistency in one area."
Of course, I asked, "And what area is that, sir?" In my usual cocky way, and he replied, "You suffer from a common problem, failure to listen. You hear what I teach you, but you do not absorb it and apply it. For that reason, I gave you a D, and at one point, I did consider failing you, so you had to retake the course."
For me, that was a HUGE wake-up call. I thanked him, and when I had to take the second part of that course, I selected him as my professor. I was in a high school and college fraternity. I had many friends, but I can honestly say that many of my friends used to break my balls about things when I thought of it. Being the curious person that I was, I needed to know why. So I asked my buddies why they were always breaking my balls, and I asked them to be honest. Most of them all said the same thing. They told me I was a great guy, fun to do things with, was always up for having a good time, but I could NEVER admit when I was wrong. I always had to be right. You know, it really hurt to hear that from my friends, but it caused me to really think. I was my grandfather because that is what I saw for years. It was a learned behavior. One, I knew I needed to change.
That was step one. I had to take responsibility for my actions. This made me understand step 2. Other people were holding me accountable for my actions, which explains step 3. Between them breaking my ball and being totally honest with me, they were not enabling my behavior any longer. This now took me to step 4, not to get angry and lose my patience. Take the time to self-evaluate me and make the necessary changes in my behavior. As for step 5, you learn that along the way.
Now, if you think for one minute this was easy for me, think again. I was now turning 19 years old and had many bad learned habits to break. Being stubborn was also one of them.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO RIGHT A WRONG?
Keeping an open mind and listening is paramount, and since this post has to do with relationships,
EVERYONE INVOLVED NEEDS TO LEARN TO LISTEN.
No one can evaluate a problem if they do not listen to what the problem is. Once an individual is willing to open their mind and listen, they can now be reasoned with. However, that does not mean they will agree because the possibility always exists that they may be right on some issues, and you may be wrong. Therefore, you must have an open mind and listen as well. One trick that I learned that had been the most successful thing I ever learned was,
ALWAYS LOOK AT AN ISSUE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE OTHER PERSON.
Everyone perceives what they hear and other things differently. There is also the possibility that you may not have explained it properly. Oftentimes, we know what we mean and expect that others will know as well. It doesn't work that way. This is why good communication skills are important, and when you are confused about something, you ask for clarification BEFORE YOU ASSUME. When you assume, you may NOT be assuming correctly, so why run that risk. We also must think about what we will say before we say it and what outcomes could result from what we say. That old saying is very true. Once you say it, it's challenging to take it back.
Timing is everything. The time to talk to your partner is NOT when they first walk into the house after a bad day at work. It is normal that become defensive. It's our first reaction when we feel blamed for or accused of doing something we didn't do. When people become defensive, they feel they need to make their point now. This is where the argument and lack of communication will begin because no matter what you say when you are defensive, it will almost always be taken by the other person to make excuses. If you did it, you can you did it, own it, and admit to it. Apologize and keep it in your memory banks for the future. Saying I'm sorry does NOT mean you are weak. It means that you are a big enough person to admit when you were wrong.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. When you admit you are wrong with some people, they will gloat and, from time to time, never let you forget it. So now this opens another line of communications to let that person know what they are doing and its effect on you. Ask and answer all questions asked of you. Think about it. When you ask someone a question, don't you expect an answer? If so, why would you think others are different.
I do not believe in asking for forgiveness. I believe that once I admit I was wrong and apologize for it, that should be enough. However, to be successful in the future, you must learn from your mistakes. Also, keep in mind that all issues do NOT have to be resolved RIGHT NOW.
There is a time and a place for everything, especially discussions. If you have small children around, never try to discuss problems when you might be constantly interrupted. It would be best if you had time to discuss them properly. Habits sometimes are hard to break, so a bit of patience and understanding will go a long way. If your partner is repeating the same behavior, you can interrupt them they are doing it to point it out, or if you feel that is not the right time, discuss at a letter time. The key is not to ignore it. Ignoring what the other person does enables them to continue that behavior, and you are sending the message that their behavior is acceptable to you when it is not. Always remember that both or all parties have the responsibility to fix these issues.
As I stated early in my post, much of this is learned behavior and part of the human condition. In these cases, with a bit of reasoning and patience, these issues can be resolved. However, I also mentioned that these could be the root of much deeper problems someone might have. When the usual standard method of open communication fails, and the behavior continues or worsens, it's time to seek professional help. This can be difficult at times because your partner does not see themselves as having a problem and will always blame you and think they are right and wrong. This can be a POTENTIALLY dangerous position to find yourself in. I have seen many people contact their local in-town social services department for assistance or speak to the family doctor for recommendations. What is paramount to understand is that most problems do not get better on their own in general. In most cases, over time, they get worse. Many people end up in failed relationships because they cannot deal with the stress and the problems anymore.
Obviously, if you are a person in any of things situations, it is your choice to handle them. In no way is this medical, legal, or any other form of advice. It is solely for informational purposes and provides you the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. From one who was once pigheaded, stubborn, always thought he was right, and learned how wrong he was. I am happy to say that after I learned to change my behavior at a very young age, I have the great ability to understand people, see things through their eyes to understand their perception of things, and sit with anyone and discuss anything. The biggest lesson I learned is that, at times, it's ok to agree to disagree.
Stay safe and be well. Thank you.
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