This is a story of 2 sisters.
The elder one asks the younger one, “describe what according to you is a good conversation.”
The younger one thinks for a while and shares.
“Respect. For me a good conversation is about respect.
Where I feel there is mutual respect.
I don’t feel threatened. Or embarrassed. Or stupid.
There is no hate, anger, abuse, accusation.
The conversation leaves me with a nice feeling.
That’s a good conversation.”
“That is a lovely description”, remarks the elder one. “Tell me of the last time you didn’t have such a conversation with someone else.”
“Ummm, I can’t recall any bad conversations lately. Most conversations I have had have been good. Even if not entirely, then definitely in that direction.”
The elder one then remarked.
“That’s awesome! You haven’t had a bad conversation, one that comprises hatred and abuse and accusation and disrespect, with anyone lately.
Then how is it that you have had such conversations with your own self?”
You see, the elder one knew that the younger one is low on self confidence. That she has massive self doubt.
And to help her heal she had two options.
Option 1: “Don’t feel this way. Don’t do it. This is wrong. You know it’s wrong. Fix yourself.”
Option 2: “This is who you could become. Do you like this other person? You already are this person. What will it take you to become one for your own self?”
Option 1 accuses.
It corners people. It asks them to change.
Ironically, people cling on to what they have even more. Because who likes to be stripped away from their identity. Every one of us would like to belong.
Option 2 exposes the options.
This is who you could become. This is what you could feel. This is all that is available as your choices. Do you like any of these choices? Do you already exercise some of them?
When trying to change people, including and especially yourself – don’t accuse them of who they are. Instead, show then who all they could be!
Sometimes the worst relationships we have to save ourselves from, is the one we have with our own selves.