Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who feels that she occasionally comes across a little too strong. One thing that she said has stuck with me.
"I am very rarely offended, so I don't often think about my words offending."
Let me add that she is not in any way a mean-spirited person.
But her comment has me thinking. Which of my quirky traits do I put onto my friendships with others?
Example: I am an only child and an introvert. I think that I am a friendly introvert and I do love to be around people.
But only when I want to be around people.
Because of my personality, I tend to assume that others need/want a lot of alone time too. I don't like to "bother" people unless we need to talk about something.
Some of my best friends are total extroverts. They need to be around people all the time. Checking in and spending time is their love language.
This breeds the real possibility of conflict.
One shows love by giving people space and the other shows love by limiting space.
I am absolutely positive that I have hurt the feelings of people I love because I often withdraw to recharge.
But if I don't recharge, I can't function well.
Both people are being who they are. Neither is doing anything wrong. But still. Conflict.
Friendships require so much grace. All relationships require so much grace.
We all know that compromise and honest communication are necessary for healthy relationships. I think this is especially true of girl friends.
My close friends know me. They know my heart. I have one who often checks in to see if anything is wrong or if I am just charging my batteries.
She shows me that true friendship is recognizing the needs of your friend and adapting to those needs.
She shows me that I need to give time when I would rather hibernate.
How do you navigate relationships with those who are different from you?