Most of us have some sort of 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 are never given.
- Hurtful words are not forgotten.
- Gossiping, bullying, and sharp razor tongues continue.
- Boundaries are pushed aside or dismissed.
- The people pleasers trying to pacify everyone, instead makes 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 type of behaviors are allowed to continue and fester? They can’t. Something has to change.
Are these relationships salvageable?
To be honest, 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, or apologize, or doesn’t want to make the situation better.
Each individual is responsible for their own 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 their way in.
Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. ~ Spanish Proverb
How do you stop the gossiping and ill talk?
One person at a time. When someone speaks bad about another family member – walk away, change the subject, or say to them politely, I don’t want to hear this, or say something nice about the person who is being gossiped about. I know this may be uncomfortable. Believe me, 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 you were 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 unkind about you?
Would you forgive?
Would you react?
Would you ignore it?
Would you not care?
Gossiping and speaking bad about others has become an acceptable social activity. Whether it is at home or at 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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