The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about friends. Her and I have not known each other long but we were talking about how nice it was to be able to talk so easily with another person. I went onto start sharing with her about how I don’t have many friends and why I thought that might be…she stopped me and said,’You don’t have to justify yourself to me, I get it. It is what it is. And I replied,” well, you’re right I don’t have to justify my reason why I don’t think I have many friends but I guess when I am in a conversation I like to explain the back story of discussion.
That conversation had stayed with me because it is an interesting dynamic of why we share the things we share with others and then most of the time we explain (justify) the reason why.
Is that for the other person or is it to ease our minds that we have handled a situation (or many) right?
As I continued to think about the conversation with my friend, it led me to another time when I was faced with someone else trying to justify their actions to me and I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get it at all.
When I started dating my husband Eddie, I wanted my parents to know about it and I wanted to see how they would feel about it.
I was sitting at the kitchen table at my parents house when I told my dad for the first time. The first reaction I received was,”Ok, well, if that makes you happy.”
I have to say I was a bit taken back because I knew they knew that he was black and I didn’t know how they would feel about it.
My response to him was, “I am so glad you feel that way because that should be the most important thing…is my happiness.”
I left my parents house that day and the next day the phone rang at about 7am before I went to work and it was my dad sobbing on the other end just saying, “I can’t. I can’t.”
I didn’t know what he was talking about and then he continued, ” if you decide to date Eddie, you are no longer my daughter.”
Shock doesn’t even come close to how I felt at this time about what my dad was saying to me.
Needless to say the conversation didn’t end well and we didn’t talk for several months after this. When we did start to communicate . I wouldn’t call it talking because the conversations were so shallow and fake it was painful. But if the conversation came to the topic of Eddie, my dad would try to justify his actions and try to explain why he said what he said and did what he did.
But I didn’t buy it for a second. Did that make me right and him wrong?
Just because two people feel differently about a subject does it make one person right and one person wrong? Or could it be that they are both right or both wrong in their own ways?
To this day, I don’t fully understand why my dad chose to do things about my being with Eddie the way he did, however, he did have his reasons that he felt were justified. And I had my own reasons of why not to allow his reasons to invade my life.
And when my dad would start with why he decided to disown me because I was dating a black man. I had my reasons why I didn’t want him to be a part of my life because of his short sided ideals. And I wanted to persuade him to change his mind. but he wasn’t going to do it until he was ready and
I was wasting my time trying to justify why I wanted to be with Eddie because he couldn’t hear my reasons.
Sometimes, does communication just come down to listening to each other reasons and not to necessarily agree?
Next time you have a conversation with someone—perhaps you could take a moment and think about this…why is it that I am sharing
I would love you to share your opinions, ideas, comments about conversations. Let’s talk.
P.S. This blog post is about one of the topics in my upcoming book, Life Lessons from the Heart coming out in summer 2012.