Sunday, August 16, 2009

Miscalculations and Interpersonal Relationships

You know, M., if I had known then what I do now, there are several things I probably wouldn't have done. One is this: there were occasions when I knowingly did things that would hurt my relationship with K., because I thought the benefit to her would be greater than the cost. For instance, still forwarding her interesting articles while we weren't on good terms. I thought she would value the information despite the source (incorrect assumption), and that our relationship wasn't important to her so any damage to it would also not be important (also incorrect). Things would have turned out better if I had assumed that we were both important to each other.

That would also have changed the way I addressed problems in our relationship. For instance, when she felt inundated with Max-ness (you know I can be pretty overbearing), she tended to react by being purposefully rude so that I'd back off. Eventually I would notice and stop talking to her, and I'd count that as further evidence that she didn't really care about our relationship. At which point she would now feel comfortable talking to me again, so we'd drift back into being friends. It was a vicious, perplexing cycle. If I had known we cared about each other I would have used my normal tactic of asking, "Hey, what's up with the way you're treating me lately?" and she probably would have told me that I needed to back off. Since I figured I already knew, though, I didn't ask, I just kept assuming that she occasionally found me useful but didn't like me very much as a human being, and that she was sometimes annoyingly rude--and the cycle never got fixed.

There are things I would do differently if I had the chance to do them over again, now that I know more.


Rock Is Dead. Long Live Scissors!

"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

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