Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about relationships. From the relationship that I have with my husband, to the ones that I have with my family and my extended family, to the ones with my friends, and even to the (albeit brief) ones that I have with random people I meet throughout the day. The important theme I see/realize is assuming. This is human nature – we all think that we know exactly what the other means or is thinking. The truth is – we do not have a clue.
I am very guilty of this. I will say something because I think I know what someone wants to hear or because I think I know how they will react. Brian and I have recently had this discussion and working on being absolutely transparent with each other – sad that we are just NOW trying this after four years, but it’s better now than later. The flip side of that is thinking that things we say don’t affect the other person in the conversation/interaction. Something flippant said, meaning to be funny, can really hurt. I have also been guilty of this recently – something that I don’t even remember saying mattered very deeply to the other person.
Just because another individual is in our lives, we often feel like we know everything about that person. But when we stop to actually look at the things that we “know,” that list can come up pretty short. After that, we also need to look at where that “knowledge” came from. Did we learn it from conversations with the subject or was it learned through a third-party source or even just assumed?
Beyond these more personal interactions, the random interactions are also important. Do we really know how the waitress’ day is going or why that driver is being a jerk? There may be very real reasons for the way they are behaving. Don’t get me wrong – some people are just jerks, I know this, but I always try to consider that they may be just having a bad day. While they do not need to be taking it out on me, I don’t need to make the situation worse.
One thing that is amazing about my little girl is how happy she can absolutely be. I have literally seen a person’s demeanor change because Grace is giving them one of her SO cute chipmunk grins. I often tell Brian, “Well, Grace brightened the day of 5 people at Target today,” or at the grocery store or the mall. She really brightens our lives and I am glad that she is so free with sharing her happiness. I did tell her (and Brian) that we will probably need to have the “Stranger Danger” conversation early in her life, but I do not want her to be afraid of people.
I’m sorry if this was a bit random and rambling – just a stream of conscious kind of day.