As a psychotherapist and podcaster, I thought I had pretty much mastered the art of conversation. Sure, I knew I had a couple of bad habits, like interrupting and repeating myself, and I’ve had clients get confused at my multi-part questions.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to change other people? This is true even in loving relationships, where both people have an incentive to listen and respond to their partner’s needs.
It is especially true for our friends and acquaintances who, while they may care for us, are mostly interested in getting the most from their own lives.
Whenever I watch children playing together at the park, it always reminds me of a giant chemistry experiment. Like atoms spinning through the air, boys and girls whirl around, bumping into each other. Occasionally, they come together in small groups, only to be ripped apart by unseen forces.
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Yup. They’re beyond precious, my women friends. They’ve reveled in my joys, shared my adventures and pulled me through my crises. I treasure every single one of them.
Have you noticed that sometimes, when we are talking to a friend or family member, they suddenly get defensive? In such situations, we often wonder what we might have said to offend them.
One cold afternoon last January, three friends and I started planning our summer getaway. Living in four different states, we enjoy an annual getaway together.
Seems like, with every year, we find ourselves regarding our women friends as ever more precious. We’ve learned that our husbands or partners cannot satisfy every need we have for sharing and companionship, but that’s OK because we have friends who share the interests that our partners don’t.
One of the things I’ve noticed about getting older is my tendency to try and keep things neat and predictable. I often long for a life that requires few changes and gives me plenty of time to control my own environment. I get it that this is a pipe dream, but it’s also not what’s really best for me.
These are turbulent times that we live in, and I am amazed at the uncontrolled and selfish conversing I see and hear lately. It’s everywhere! TV, social media, restaurants, ball fields, schools… everywhere! I believe everyone has forgotten “It’s just your opinion.”
I am a wife whose husband has cancer. I am a caregiver. I also work with people who have cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, and with their caregivers. I work with the grief that comes with caregiving and death that may follow.