Originally Posted by ray
Before my poly adventure began, I was fairly religious and belonged to a church (that turned out to be a crazyyy place, even by evangelical standards) but there is one thing in particular that was "preached" that I took away. On the subject of conflict resolution.
Sometimes we hurt people, sometimes we mean to, sometimes we don't. They may be crazy and overly sensitive. Regardless, if some one comes to us and is hurt by our words or actions, one of the best ways to restore friendship is to simply say, I am sorry I hurt you. or something to that effect. To apologize that your actions caused them some pain. I've found that that alone can do so much that the issue often dissipates. Especially if it was something minor to begin with. Perhaps then if they've hurt you too, you can ask them to apologize to you. I know that was/is a hard mental transition for me because I love to be right. And if I think I'm right then I sure as hell don't want to apologize for something that's probably your fault anyway. But that kind of thinking has never helped me mend any relationship. So I've been working on it.
<warning:here is my soapbox philosophy>
I don't disagree with what you are saying. It is called politeness or common courtesy. It is considered a good habit when you deal with a group of people. It's like asking a person, "How are you?" and they will automatically respond: "Fine!" Or even like saying "I love you" and expecting them to respond, "I love you too." (And if they don't respond with "I love you too" as expected, someone is very likely to get hurt.)
I am not at all against these kinds of polite social interactions, but I have noticed people unconsciously carrying on lengthy meaningless conversations and greeting people and not truly connecting with them in the slightest.
It is like when the check-out person at the supermarket says "Paper or plastic?" and "Have a nice day" and their eyes never meet yours. Their minds are somewhere else and they don't actually care about your day or your answer. or you... ....and no one really expects them to...
We often walk around like unconscious robots, our brains just running programs (me included).. and we don't actually "see" or listen to people or actually connect with them in the moment. We don't mean half of what we say. We don't wonder who they really are. We are like actors on a stage reading the lines we have rehearsed and have been told (programed) we should say, because it is polite and socially acceptable.
It is not easy to live consciously in the moment. I have discovered that when I try it, and deviate from common programming, some people will often "wake up" for a brief moment, sometimes just long enough to be hurt or offended... or even shocked.
For me, it has nothing to do with "being right." It is an exercise in being conscious and true.(honest) not in being righteous. Following group programming can be easily learned and followed. Eventually you will fit in and become a cog in the wheel of your society and you can spend your time having meaningless interactions with strangers, never really connecting with anyone or getting to know anyone.
I believe that each and every encounter I have with any living thing is meaningful and that moment is all that exists. It is my goal to practice being in the moment. It isn't easy. I can't do it for long or even often.
So I sometime say "how are you? and "I am fine" and "have a nice day." and "Thank you" But I try to remember to look in the person's eyes and see the person behind them and really think about what I am saying. And I do say "I'm sorry" and "I love you" and I try to remember to say it only when I actually feel it. That is how I practice living consciously.
</wow... end of soapbox>