So summer is upon us, and we have visions of vacations, flying somewhere exotic, sandy beaches, beautiful mountain vistas, laughing together, nice breezes blowing through our hair etc. But what is the reality of summer vacation?. It’s NOT like National Lampoon’s Vacation either it’s something in between.
If there are a lot of family members or families sharing a vacation together conflict is bound to arise. If conflict doesn’t come up then you’re either a perfect family, and I want to be adopted, or you just don’t (expressing an opinion here) care that much about your familial relationships to give each other the chance to be better.
Conflict is always hard even in the best of circumstances but conflict is essential for growth and change. Not giving the people in our lives the opportunity to change behaviors that are hurtful that they may not even know about isn’t fair to them and shows a complete indifference to them.
I’m a member of a family that is chock full of strong personalities and whether I want to admit it or not I have that personality too. I have the horrible personality trait of being sarcastic, and I’m learning 54 years into my life that it is and has been extremely hurtful to people. In the past I’ve just pushed it off as people being too sensitive but in reality I’ve really hurt people. I haven’t even recognized it in myself because my heart has always cared so deeply for others that I just thought they understood I was just “being funny”.
It has been a challenge for me to hear that what I say has been so hurtful to my family and others. I see myself getting really defensive too, and making excuses for my sarcasm. What’s been surprising has been coming to the realization that all my family has really strong sarcastic sides, but I’ve had to admit that mine is much more biting then theirs, and I’m the reining queen of sarcasm. I’m always getting hurt when people are sarcastic with me too so I’m also the person who can dish it out but not take it. How very annoying is that?
I appreciate the people in my life that have been courageous enough to tell me how hurtful my sarcasm is and has been.; They’ve given me the opportunity to look at myself, and see if it is a valid complaint (which it is), and to choose to change it. I haven’t successfully changed it yet but I’m trying to make a change. It has been a lifelong protection mechanism that has kept me from truly loving or allowing others to love me so this will be and has been something that I will struggle with for a very long time. I just hope I can be successful at changing it before I die.
So long essay short; be open to conflict, love people enough to give them the chance to change. They may not change, they may be defensive, you may have conflict but the people whom you love and love you should be able to be honest and give you and themselves the opportunity to be better people.