Damaged Relationships: Are They Salvageable?
Most of us have some damaged relationships. Even I have wounds, and I struggle with forgiveness. I know we should forgive and forget—non-forgiveness causes physical and emotional harm. Forgiveness will set us free, but what if the person you want to forgive continues the same hurtful behavior?
- Apologies not given.
- Hurtful words not forgotten.
- Gossiping, bullying, and sharp razor tongues continue.
- Boundaries are pushed aside or dismissed.
- The people pleasers trying to appease everyone instead make everything worse.
- Family members speaking ill of each other or about someone’s spouse even when their children are in the room.
When these types of dynamics continue to go on and don’t stop, children get hurt and carry those damaged emotions forever, and the disruptive behavior carries on.
How can relationships heal if these types of behaviors are allowed to continue and fester? They can’t. Something has to change.
Are these relationships salvageable?
I believe some yes and some no.
Yes, if both parties want this conflict resolved and if willing to sit down, respectfully communicate with each other, listen to each other side of the situation, and then both apologize. I believe with continual effort and respectfulness, it is salvageable.
No, if one of the parties doesn’t want to resolve it, apologize, or doesn’t want to make the situation better.
Each individual is responsible for their actions and the words they speak. I am very guilty of letting the cycle continue instead of putting a stop to it myself. Especially when trying to enforce boundaries, so the behavior will stop. There will be people who will bust down those fences or bully to break those boundaries.
Whoever gossips to you will talk about you. ~ Spanish Proverb
How do you stop the gossiping, and ill talk?
One person at a time. When someone speaks terribly about another family member – walk away, change the subject, or say politely, I don’t want to hear this or say something nice about the person. I know this may be uncomfortable. I struggle with this myself. I am definitely, a work in progress and probably always will be. Hurtful words are weapons, and when people are wounded, they will afflict pain on others.
Strategies to Halt Gossip:
- Awareness of what is happening
- Say something nice or nothing at all
- Don’t repeat gossip or something told in confidence
- Make a conscious decision to stop these behaviors
Words once spoken can never be recalled. ~ Wentworth Dillion
How would you feel if you heard others speaking unkindly about you?
Would you forgive?
Would you react?
Would you ignore it?
Would you not care?
Gossiping and speaking badly about others has become an acceptable social activity at home or work.
The next time you are about to say something unkind about someone.
Pause and reflect:
How would I feel if someone said that about me?
How would it make that person feel?
Would those words hurt others I love?
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