I recently read something online (sorry, I can’t remember the source). It involved two people discussing relationships and one said something along the lines of “don’t bother arguing, just say ‘you’re right'”. The other person was unconvinced and protested that stating an opinion and arguing until the other person accepted, or at least acknowledged it, was the right approach. The first person carried on walking and simply said “you’re right”. It still makes me laugh.
I am sure that many people reading this will see life very differently. I don’t blame them. However, one of the most valuable lessons I learnt from therapy was understanding when to take cover. This can be a tricky time of year. All those reunions with people who haven’t changed or developed in any meaningful way yet think they have. People who still tell the same tired old jokes which invariably involve belittling someone else. People who never understood you or ever tried to because they were too busy creating drama or spilling every detail of their predictable and self-important lives at every opportunity, however inappropriate. People who have never realised that listening is far more powerful than speaking and never will. People who are only interested in themselves and assume they are interesting to others. The good news is, it’s the season of goodwill so ‘you’re right’ can fit in even if you’re not really feeling it. Sometimes we need to value ourselves and that means taking cover.
Naturally, not all reunions are like this. Many are joyful and fulfilling because those present genuinely love and care for each other. It’s just that it’s the people who don’t have positive experiences who often come to counselling to try and figure out whether they are the ones getting it wrong. If you need some help trying to understand your experiences, please get in touch. I’m good at listening.
Finally, I wish you joy in 2018. For those suffering and/or feeling lonely, I wish you peace and hope that you are able to find support and comfort in these profoundly lonely times.