I wonder how many arguments or friendship breakups would occur if people had those SAME conversations face-to-face? No texting, no Facebook, and no interactions on social media at all…What if you had to look that person in the face and converse without having the option to “block,” ignore,” or “delete before reading?”
I had a wonderful conversation with another milspouse, Mrs. Melissa Bryant. I truly love and adore this woman! I do! We met while our husbands were both stationed in Virginia. But here’s the thing: Although Melissa and I truly love each other as friends, our friendship could’ve completely vanished if we both weren’t willing to put our fingers to rest, and let our mouths do the work. We had to TALK it out, not type it out! Although Melissa and I never had an actual argument, we’ve have conversations that always felt more sincere and in depth, when we talked directly.
As adults, we often caution children about the dangers of social media. Unfortunately, as adults we can also get into trouble when
communicating miscommunicating with friends and strangers online. There is a certain level of safety and detachment when indirectly interacting with others. And, just like children, we don’t always understand (or even care about how) our behavior can affect someone else.
So, as Melissa and I talked about how we are continuing to “grow up” in our adulthood, we identified the changes we made that helped us really become grownups! As women, we now aim to:
- Recognize the difference between childish versus grownup behavior. No more “Bye, Girl” tantrums!
- Be able to SAY “I’m sorry,” and mean it. Be able to HEAR “I’m sorry” and receive it!
- As a grownup, don’t put up a wall when others don’t agree with you. Welcome disagreements (not disrespect).
- Remember that you can take a breather from a friendship OR a Facebook page, without departing completely. As a friend and an adult, know when you simply “need some space” without looking for the exit.
- STOP talking so much: Listen. Learn. Accept. The ability to read or hear something without taking offense, reflects how mature you are. Stop thinking that you KNOW how someone feels about you…you don’t.
- Never give advice unless specifically asked for it. Sometimes, someone just wants to be heard.
- Don’t secretly tally up someone’s offenses, and continue to be pleasant until you’ve had “enough.” Communicate–let it out. Be free!
- By next week, someone might forget your comment on a post…she might not even remember your name. Let her opinions be hers. Don’t carry the hurt that someone else dished out–it might not be intended to cause hurt.
- Be YOURSELF, tactfully. You don’t have to silence yourself for the comfort of others.
- Don’t judge a person by a post or a comment! Depending on the topic, you two may be BFFs or sworn enemies. Don’t let one topic summarize your view of who the person is, overall. That’s not fair. Adults, let’s be grownups!
***Much appreciation to one of my dearest grownup friends, Melissa Bryant, for her contribution to this Blog post! Melissa Bryant is an Army wife and mother of three amazing children! A college graduate who is very active in her community, Mrs. Bryant enjoys ministering to women and teaching others!