I’m not close with one of my relatives. It is complicated, and telling the story no longer serves me. I can stay pretty neutral about the situation until my annual visit to my home state. Overall, I love and look forward to this visit, but the inherent obligation to see my relative while I’m ‘home’ has been a trigger for me for several years.
As my most recent trip approached, I reached out to my relative to say I would be in town. She responded that it just wasn’t a good week for her to squeeze in a visit with me. Fine, I really didn’t want to see her anyway. Why did I feel so awful about it though?
She did not want to see me, TRUE.
That is hurtful and makes me the victim.
I did not want to see her, TRUE.
That makes me sound like a terrible person.
We have chosen to not make each other a priority, TRUE.
This is a much more empowering statement. If feels like we have come to an agreement and there is no shame or blame.
All three statements are true, but only one statement doesn’t leave me feeling bad about myself. If you find yourself in a similar conundrum, keep in mind there may be a more neutral perspective. A neutral perspective can lead to healing, empowerment, and forgiveness.