I hurt someone really dear to me this week. So, it wasn’t exactly this week, but I found out this week. Honestly, I was really baffled because it was something so seemingly small. She ate something that stained her teeth and I mentioned it to her that her teeth was stained in front of another person who was a relative. She felt that I should have mentioned it to her in private.

I simply couldn’t understand how this was an issue, so when she told me, I told her she was being too sensitive. But as usual, it got me thinking. I hurt her feelings, whether she was being overly sensitive or not, I had hurt her. What would it have cost me to apologize, if it would have made her feel better?

So did I apologize? Yes, I did. The relationship meant more to me than my correctness. I still think she can be overly sensitive, however, I was genuinely sorry that I had hurt her feelings, because that wasn’t the intention. So, I ate a humble pie and went back to her to apologize. She was very graceful about it and all was well with us again.

I would like to say that you should not loose the lesson here. The issue is not whether the other person was correct/wrong, over-sensitive/sensitive or a host of other things, that is a topic for another day. The topic for today is about how you can play your part towards improving the state of your relationships.

There is a Yoruba adage that says that in a relationship, one person must be the sheep when the other is a goat. We need to be able to take stock of our relationships and decide what category it falls under. For me, relationships fall under healthy important, healthy acquaintance, toxic important and scrap!

Scrap simply has no place in my life. These are people that are toxic acquaintances, I don’t tolerate these people at all, I just disengage. For all others, I am learning to reel in my ego and try to be the best I can be in these
relationships.

Which leads me ask you this question today.

Do you really hear what people are saying to you?

I was talking to my Aunty during the week, and she was telling me about how she said something to her husband and he said ‘why is everything my fault?’. She was genuinely shocked as she was simply making conversation and was in no way accusing me. As we spoke on, she realized it was a pattern between them. The other person often hears what they think the other person is saying, and I find that this is very common.

So ask yourself this morning, how do you listen? Do you really hear what people say to you, or you hear what you think they must be saying to you. Many times, our biases affect what we hear, because we are not really listening, we are simply waiting to react or reply.

Let’s strive to cultivate the habit of listening without bias, of genuinely listening to what is being said to us without being in a hurry to reply. Infact, there is absolutely no rush to reply, so it’s ok to take a minute to digest what you have heard, it’s ok to say ‘give me a minute to think about this’. Remember, you can never take back your reply.

Consider this, an apology, a smile, a kind word, a little consideration, a slight inconvenience, a genuine offer to help can often go a long way towards keeping the peace.

In some cases, it may even opens the door, for conversations that can trigger real introspection. Guess what? Either way, you are the better for it. It is one step forward towards your strive to being a better human being.

What are your thoughts on the topic of the day. We would be back next week to continue this monologue. However, if you would like to contribute to this podcast, kindly send an email to healingthechild@guzelkadin.ng or comment on our Instagram page @healingthechild. Thank You for your time. Have a good week.