July 6, 2013

Person's reaction to 'No' says a lot

A while ago, one of our sons was talking with some of his friends. The friends were angry as they felt that a young lady had mistreated our son. They asked him, “Why don’t you ever say anything bad about her?” Our son’s response? “My dad wouldn’t, so I don’t.” Wow.

I often tell teenagers that someone who bashes an ex will someday bash them, too. I encourage them to observe how a potential romantic partner treats other people, especially past friends and loves. 

This test could be applied to any relationship, in any phase of life. To me, a true measure of a person is how they react to the word “No.” Upon hearing it, do they reject whoever uttered it? Launch a smear campaign on that person? Walk out, perhaps?

What about hurt? I am learning that the question isn’t whether we will get hurt, but what will the hurt reveal? Will our relationship survive betrayal? And what if I am the inflictor? Am I brave enough to stay and mend the break? I can’t say which role is more comfortable for me, forgiver or forgiven. They are both tough, and my natural inclination is to bail. I have, however, been forgiven by some of the best people I know. And I hated it. I hated that I hurt them. I hated that I was exposed. But I am honored to wear their forgiveness.

What about breakups? How easy is it to accept that we are no longer wanted? I find that human nature demands a final score for any breakup; a winner and a loser. When two people part, though, it usually has something to do with both of them, and mostly that something is only between the two of them. Rumors and side-taking blur the real issue; that two people loved and lost and have to go on. Would blame change any of that? 

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