Originally Posted by Renee52873
I think that in some (or most) cases I am very open to her choices. What bothers me is when she attacks my choices. At that point, I feel the need to defend my beliefs an opinions. I don't ever intend to call her ou as being wrong, I only want her to understand how I have come to believe the way I do. She usually takes it wrong and gets angry. She then calls me close-minded when really she is the one who is.
I recently had the pleasure of the company of an amazing woman who learned and trained in non-violence with Martin Luther King during the civil rights struggle. Part of the training is to sit on a stool and let people hit you to learn how to not let your anger make you hit back. She said King told her something that it took years for her to understand. He said that you'll hit back as soon as you can't find anything to love about the person hitting you.
It left her (and me) with an important axiom:
That everybody is doing the best they can with what they have.
Remembering that during a conflict is key for me. However, that doesn't mean not speaking the truth even if it's hard. Compassion isn't about being gentle or coddling, it's about being truthful and authentic. It's about calling out the hard truths but with that underlying understanding that in doing so, your purpose isn't to take them down, but to give them more. (so that they can do the best they can with that little bit more) And as long as that compassion is held up when conflict arises (even if it's one sided) it becomes very difficult for things to escalate.
Kudos to you for letting the relationship shift and evolve and letting go of things that aren't working.