Or perhaps on your way toward consciousness you've done a little hitting yourself.
Personally....I think I've been on both ends of this, yet....
I think it benefited me greatly to have my first experience in friendship of this type of dynamic being played out -with a friend who recognized our connection was not in alignment with her goals and dreams.
At the time...
Under my belt I had a lot going on under my hood. I was still grieving the loss of Donovan, I had a child half of the time, who was with his father and stepmother the other half of the time and they were not my biggest fans.
Whereas, she had...herself.
She wanted to be in alignment with her own goals and life journey and for her -that meant some space and distance from me to give more time to things that were in alignment with what she wanted for herself. While this did not feel great to me, It did feel right to me.
And I think a lot of that had to do with her ability to tell me in a manner that was reverent. She didn't do the weird and twisty thing where she left me feeling like I was too toxic to be friends with.
She just left me with a sense she needed to go on her own journey.
She was just honoring herself and I admired her and felt peaceful about it.
Every few years since that moment we catch up and it fills up both of our hearts to do so. One of us feels the other and sends an email, the other responds. Sometimes there are pictures, sometimes there isn't but there is always reverence. It picks up and drops off organically.
As I also touched her by not doing the other weird and twisty thing. I didn't become completely unglued by the loss I was about to experience.
It wasn't that I didn't care. It was that the illusion of security and things lasting forever sort of disappeared when Donovan died and at that time nothing felt nearly as painful as the loss of him felt.
Additionally at that time my concerns were more along the lines of how can I cope and have my son cope with the divide between homes. Or how It seemed I was consistently being hit over the head because I did not think, live or believe in certain things I once thought, lived and believed in. My bigger focus was how to address the agreements my sons father and I had that were suddenly changing rapidly without my input or my consent.
It felt like I was living in two fundamentally different worlds simultaneously anyway. So someone making the choice to align with their desires fully -felt right to me. And the way she kept it about her desires, not me...she handled a mother who was going through a lot... with grace and dignity. There was nothing in me that desired holding this woman hostage. Her freedom was my freedom too.
This being my first experience with what I would call, a truly conscious person who valued themselves and me in equal parts...without hitting me over the head....she sort of set the bar for me in many ways.
I was 19 when I became a stepmother and 22 when I became a biological mother. She got married at 35 and became a mother at 36 and 37. Having waited she was a much more conscious mother than I was at 22. (We are the same age.) She's now dealing with an 11 year old and a 10 year old as I try to come to terms with how it's possible my son is going to be 25 years old.
We are still in completely different places. And she did wait to fill herself up and find the one life partner that she wanted to be with for life and that did not last "forever," so she's now on the other side where her former spouse had a conversation with her about his alignment and his desire to live true to himself and she has received his truth...gracefully. This is far beyond what we experienced in our friendship years ago but the theme remains the same.
No one is willing to hit anyone over the head. I think there is a lot to the differences in how my marriage to my son's father ended and how her marriage to her children's father ended and a lot of it has to do with timing, age and also, the circumstances around the divorce.
Mine was loaded with heavy emotional charges, covered in grief and wrapped in chaos. Whereas hers was a softer more gentle communication regarding soul longing, alignment and she nor he- is willing to hit each other over the head as they both rise, fall a little, cry a little and then rise again while they try to move through what is currently happening.
She would actually be the perfect person to write for the magazine but it's not her thing.
She's also one of the people in my life who has always valued my long winded emails. She is and always has been one of the many friends I have who.... when she sees my email in her inbox, she grabs her coffee or gets on her stationary bike and loves to read the mini book I have sent her. Since it's been every few years...she has gotten the longest emails out of anyone.
Yet I also have some people who have been committed to telling me what I need to learn and how I need to shorten my communication and how "no one likes to receive these long emails"
It's almost impossible to do that actually.
What is in front of you is very different than what this person's feedback is.
So what do you do?
Do you go where you are most welcome and appreciated as you are...or go with the person who is trying to tweak and change you thinking they are speaking on behalf of everyone on the planet?
I don't know what anyone else's decision would be but...
If I have 20 people welcoming me with open arms and 2 people trying to change and tweak me framing it as for my "betterment"...I'm going to try to accommodate the 2 people the best I can as I remain fully myself everywhere else.
Additionally, I'm going to try to not focus on the part where-I now know -their world view isn't actually expanded enough to even consider the possibility -there might actually be a bunch of human beings who enjoy me as I am.
They are just so convinced they know what "most people" like and don't like.
And now my personal blog fluctuates any place in between 900 readers to thousands of readers.
I'm often a very long winded blogger who sometimes still hears "You need to shorten your blogs" I hear that and then I go to my blog IP statistics to "check in," and here we go again....
What to do?
Do I listen to the person who has studied blogs, what brings in more readers, what they have learned from the professionals? Or do I remain true to myself and what the IP statistics are telling me?
I'm all for feedback and various mindsets and learning and expanding and growing...
Yet, this blog is my personal blog. It's my open diary, my journal. It's fun, I love it. People don't have to read it if they don't want to. I'm open to feedback. If I wasn't I wouldn't check the IP statistics when I get feedback. Yet, the bottom line is.....I'm going to....
"Add what is uniquely your own"
In David J Ley Ph.D's opinion/articulation,he defines the difference between unconditional love vs Narcissistic Love and it is kind of interesting
Healthy unconditional love requires a bonding beyond the surface appearance and behavior of someone. It’s a love that connects you from core to core. You could say it’s soul based.
Narcissistic love is more superficial. We love appliances, as long as they do what they are supposed to do. Who decides what they are supposed to do? We do. Similarly, narcissists decide what other people are supposed to do, and when expectations are not fulfilled the scene can be a lot like someone swearing at their computer for crashing. It’s not a love based on any core connection, it’s a love based on functionality.
If you are dealing with someone who loves you when “you do things right” and who stops loving you when you don’t, then you are dealing with narcissistic love, which really isn’t anything like unconditional love at all.
the quality of being suited to serve a purpose well; practicality.
When I meditate and go deeper with the few people I felt- hit me over the head as I was in my last big growth spurt.....below the labeling and surface level that narcissism seems to live on these days...I can't buy into it. I could easily say "Yep, the problem is just that the other person's narcissism.....But the truth is...these people have closeness and connection with others where it's working for all parties involved. I wasn't the only person in their lives and I think it would be healthier and more beneficial in healing to have this awareness generally speaking. We can remain forever stuck ourselves labeling someone else in this way. I don't want to be forever stuck. So I go deeper...and deeper...
What I can find though, the thread that does exist...what feels more true with some of these humans is:
I wasn't being heard.
There was a lot of non-listening. A lot of "not really being present" a lot of "much more important things to do"
In keeping up with Kristin: A blog with different authors: Alanah shares
The six types of non-listening are as follows;
and Literal Listening.
Pseudo Listening is when one pretends to listen. When we pseudo listen, we appear to be attentive,but our minds are usually elsewhere.
Monopolizing is when one takes over a conversation, not letting anyone else contribute to the conversation. It is when one continues to focus the conversation on themselves instead of listening to another person talk. Usually when one engages in monopolized listening tactics they interrupt the speaker in order to divert attention to themselves.
When one engages in Selective Listening they are usually focusing on the parts of the conversation that interest them or the parts that they agree with.
Defensive Listening is when one takes what someone says as threatening. It is when one feels as if they are being attacked or criticized when in reality no one is intentionally trying to offend them.
Ambush Listening is when one listens to a story waiting for the chance to purposely attack the speaker.
Literal Listening is listening only for content and ignoring the relationship level of meaning. When one only listens literally they become insensitive to others feelings, not making the effort to understand how they feel.
As a teenager, when I was doing the classic teen
Pseudo Listening - my mother could sense I wasn't all there and she would say something like "Then my eyes rolled out of my head and a truck ran over them." Which made me laugh and it also brought me into the realization that I wasn't really listening and she could feel that I wasn't. It was a very soft light humored training in mindfulness actually. She's my mother, I don't want her to feel unheard... but at the same time, I am a teenager. The empathy, the experience of that: The sending and the receiving... I was being taught mindfulness in a very real way.
With my grandmother, when she would call me she had that Monopolizing non listening style. The woman could talk for hours and not even sense I wasn't listening. It was absolutely incredible to me.
I could put the phone down..hear her softly, walk away, do some things and come back and she never knew I did that. The woman lived alone for the most part and wanted someone to talk to and share with. She wanted someone she could share -not just her medical issues, but all of her friends too, I knew all of their medical issues as well. In addition to what happened when she walked into the doctors office and she wanted to share the stories of all the kind people in her Dr's office, to tell me every word that was spoken while she was there. Or the man or woman she sat down next to, she wanted to tell me their conversation too. This included information about the receptionists, how much she loved them and she would share their personal life and what was going on in the receptionists lives and the lives of their five children, 3 children and the advice she would give the women.
I guess I was actually listening, at least with one ear anyway. This was mostly over the phone, in person she had the wisdom of a sage. She just loved to talk and share and share and share. She loved people and everyone and us. Sometimes I would say "Grandmom I have to go" and she would continue to talk. This too was also training for me.
If someone tells me they have to go...I say okay, or if someone tells me they have 5 minutes, I find myself very aware and mindful of the clock ticking. As I know what it's like to be on the other side of the phone when someone does not hear you.
I love my grandmother and everything she taught me. This is just another thing she ended up teaching me. I didn't see the harm in giving my grandmother space to just talk as I half listened and got things done -because she was alone, lonely and reaching. By the end of the conversation she was good to go.
I can see a connection between me and my grandmother through my long winded writing. Perhaps I just found a way to express myself, share it and if people want to read it or not is entirely up to them. There is no pressure. I can also see the connection between me and my grandmother because she thought she was the funniest woman on the planet. She could crack herself up like nobody's business. I've got that going on too. I live alone and I laugh a lot. I mean truly, I crack myself up. I enjoy myself so much sometimes...that I find myself checking in, asking myself "Have you gone officially mad? Insane? Crazy? And then I think...Na, laughter is good. You're good
It's just my experience we all have a non listening default and when we learn what that is...we can do what we want with that information.
There is also one more common thread with the very few people....
I do struggle with overly competitive humans and they struggle with me too.
Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. Once wrote the following on how to deal with overly competitive people;
Friends and Family:
Generally, people who are competitive about their houses, kids, dinner parties and so on are either insecure or arrogant and want to prove superiority. If they are the insecure type, praising their accomplishments and staying calm and friendly may make them see you as an ally or as less of a threat. If they are arrogant, you may want to speak up and toot your own horn as well or change the subject when they start boasting. Arrogant people tend to be narcissistic and status-conscious, so if you exude confidence and appear to have high status and accomplishments, they are more likely to respect you. If this isn't your style, walk away and find a less self-centered person to talk to.
I don't know about all of that, I just know..being around overly competitive people who don't have an outlet to burn that energy out in...is difficult for me.
It can get pretty intense yet somehow it's still fun and actually hysterical. Probably because it's my family....
And for them, I am a drag. Weak. It just isn't a natural fit....
All of these indicators and personality traits are my experience of the few people who have tried to shift, change, tweak and improve me to fit into their way of experiencing the world around them. Yet, to get to the place where people have no tolerance for me when I'm not meeting their standards and then love and enjoy me fully when I am... that kind of thing tends to make me feel like I'm in a Yo-Yo dynamic. It doesn't feel good or safe and I do not show up as my best self in these connections. Those things shut me right down. I have tried to work on this in me. Tried to use empathy and compassion for them and for what happens to me, who I become when I shut down. I'm actually a messy gal if a part of me is shut down.
Yet, I began to notice, with these people there is no sense that there are two people in the room. There is no desire to get to clean. So now we have non listening, over competitiveness with my under competitiveness which both things are not a healthy relationship with competition. Add to that, everyone pointing their finger at me (including me)
Well that's just no fun for any of us.....I'm no more interested in being a drag to them than I am their being a drag to me. In this way, it's mutual.
If we aren't both willing to look within and bring forth more important elements to our connection. To be vulnerable, mindful, and kind....to have love be the center of it.... I don't know what to do with that other than honor the lack of desire to keep things clean enough to keep the affinity high...
There is this other piece. That insidious mindset of "We treat those we love the most...the worst" I think there is something to...raising our bar on that one...
That's just my opinion