Choosing Sides. Who Wins?

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No one.

My daughter was texting me about a problem with her friend. Apparently, there were two ‘different sides’ to the same scenario and the inclusion of a third party (my other daughter), who wasn’t there…but who possesses an opinion.

What’s the point of choosing sides, when as we all know…the truth lies somewhere in the middle or way out beyond the perceptions of all involved (including opinionated observers) in the situation.

We’re all responsible for what happens in our lives, period.

Anger? Time to look within.

You don’t win by being self-righteousness, shaming and justifying your position.

Defending oneself or someone else; no winner there. Blaming? Hypocritical and energy wasted.

The real problem is not addressed when sides are taken (so we feel better about our position). Others who have a chip on their shoulder regarding the offending party (depending on who’s side you choose) can make it messier and more ridiculous than the original issue.

My daughter wanted my input on how to respond to her friend’s long, emotional text messages. It was just heavy, like too many ornaments on the tree.

Reminded me of a conversation with my mother, which involved some ‘old’ stuff. She asked if I really thought she didn’t love her grandkids (uh…yeah, this was from an old argument, which of course did nothing to better anything)…and I said, I didn’t know, but the way she spoke about them at times was disparaging and I didn’t like it.

She replied with “I was just defending you,” as I listened, all I thought was “No.” I told her, “I don’t want you to defend me against them, I don’t ever want to be defended….in any part of my life–it implies a totality that I’m right, they’re wrong.”

It’s draining to think of my story, your story or anyone’s story, in supporting the position we each take in a disagreement or in choosing a side.

All those gyrations serve are in avoiding the real issue, the deeper truth.

Communication in these instances by all parties is problematic.

Whether it’s lying to ourselves first or lying to others to maintain a facade….many people don’t realize they do it, because their intention is to NOT lose.

All human beings are hypocrites. Welcome to being human.

In my daughter’s situation, her and her friend both had justified POV’s about the situation that occurred. They did agree there was a misunderstanding and miscommunication. My daughter apologized and her friend kept going…

She wanted validation in blaming my daughter for the current situation.

How could this end well?

I reflected on my own life, my refusal to defend myself when the circumstances are skewed, because it isn’t the real issue. Choosing sides, right versus wrong, and so on are all…. perceptions meant to validate feelings. Most people don’t purposely set out to do something wrong, but depending on who’s observing … it can become blown way out of proportion to the actual issue.

When we go against ourselves–denying how we really feel, doing what doesn’t serve us, which includes allowing people to walk on our boundaries (cuz we didn’t honor them for ourselves), people please, be the rescuer, insecure and acted in ways to support those patterns…eventually it comes falling down.

That’s the real issue.

It’s inauthentic.

As humans we all seek to be understood, loved and connected.

Choosing sides, shaming another or being self-righteous, will never serve to bring us closer together (personally that’s my cue to exit stage left). Taking responsibility for how YOU put yourself in the position to have had a misunderstanding will lead you to real empowerment and clarity.

It’s hard to be authentic, all the time, but true authenticity is not perfection, it’s owning your shit.

Own where you sold yourself short to create the untenable situation and move on. Staying stuck in the problem, defending yourself, dragging the neighborhood in to decide who’s a better character is useless, you still don’t win.

Seek to be understood when you can, but make sure you’re connected to your own truth, in support of your own boundaries and be kind, as often as possible. No one is a loser or a winner, we’re all just different perspectives depending on our experiences….

And please remember, we’re all human.

 

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