In order to do life well with others, try not to make it about yourself, your comfort, your preferences.
Seems like common sense, right?
Common sense isn’t as common as we’d like it to be. I’ve watch the ripple effects of people being dismissive to others, and it’s devastating to relationships.
Here are a few phrases warning “You Might Be Dismissive When…”:
- They’ll get over it.
- It’s none of their business.
- They’ll understand when they get older.
I’ve found dismissiveness, besides being motivated by selfishness, serves as a kind of self-protection. It’s a defense mechanism that avoids honest conversations. Instead of inviting healing, it ignores the infection of wounds.
Whether you personally inflicted the wounds or not, never ignore the wounds are there. We often want to remember the good times before the wounds or look forward to the future times beyond the wounds, but the way we deal with the healing process – whether we engage and help or ignore and allow it to fester – says a lot about our character and the value we put on our relationships.
If you’re being dismissive right now, you might not be able to see it clearly. Or perhaps you see someone close to you being dismissive. You can’t choose how someone else responds, but you can decide to have honest conversations with people affected by the dismissiveness.
Don’t wait. Help people process now instead of waiting to see how it will all fall together (or apart) in the future. Listen well. Let the person express what he or she is experiencing. It will be uncomfortable at times, but refuse to make yourself or the way you would deal with a situation be the center of it all. Be humble.
Being humble and being dismissive do not cohabitate. Humility involves respect for yourself, others, and relationships. Stay engaged and love well through the tough stuff.