Priority in Relationships

Hurt and pain surely may not be negligible in relationships, but it sure can be well managed.

I mean, a friend of yours who has once prayed with you in times of trouble may lie to you later on. While this may be disheartening, you can choose to either forgive and forget as you hold on to his support in times past, or allow his mistake to ruin your relationship with each other.

I was privileged to settle a misunderstanding between two friends of mine from the same town, and attended the same church while growing up – In fact, they are like sisters (life has practically placed them together). They practically saw each other grow (intellectually and in stature).

What amazed me the most is that they weren’t able to pull things together themselves. Despite their intimacy, they allowed the matter to be judged by people who knew nothing about them. Well, they settled the dispute, to my greatest pleasure, but the disagreement made them consider moving out and staying separately (although they are now happy together and this gives me joy).

But to me, the fact that they considered packing out is disheartening.

You see, before you burn a bridge; cut off someone; block a contact; stop talking to that friend – meditate on it; think twice before acting. Because you might just regret the decision to let go afterwards.

Like Adisa Pelumi (a friend of mine who inspired this writing) once told me -in the company of other friends- “When there’s a misunderstanding between people, they mostly focus on the ‘minor’ and neglect the ‘major’ “, she said.

What does she mean by ‘major’, and ‘minor’, you ask? Well, let me put it in context as we reason together –

Let’s say you have a friend who allowed you to live with him for months or even years. Maybe you even ate his food, slept on his bed, and probably shared some of his personal belongings with him. Now, you would agree with me that he has been quite generous – but one particular day, his ‘human side’ took over and he forgot to include yours in the food he prepared.

Now, it’s seemingly logical and almost unquestionable to get angry at him for not adding your meal to what he’s preparing in an apartment which is now arguably yours as well. As you forgot the ‘real’ house owner, and how long he has kept you in.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying his action. But, for example, if you would agree with me, for you to start speaking badly about him, calling him selfish or even separating yourself from him. Saying ‘I also have a house’ (which you didn’t remember when he took you in) would be leveraging on the minor above the major which is the fact that he has accommodated you for quite for time.

Let’s imagine and observe another scenario as we understand what ‘minor’ and ‘major’ as meant by this friend of mine who inspired this writing;

Let’s imagine that you have this friend whom you’ve been together for about your whole life: you’ve laughed together; cried together; carry burdens together; covered up for each other in hard times and so on.

Now, one day, after 15years of being friends, you had a misunderstanding with him. Maybe he was even the one at fault. Oh, you were so pained!

If you’re reasoning as I am, you would agree with me that prioritizing the ‘minor’ in this case would be to end that relationship or reduce your intimacy. While prioritizing the ‘major’ would be to consider how long you guys have been together, and choose to resolve the matter just because of that.

I can give many more examples, but I think you already get the point.

Offence tends to destroy relationships

That’s why you cannot afford to destroy a relationship when angry. Yes, you may have to cut off some people as they become ‘toxic’ but you shouldn’t do so when you’re offended and/or angry.

When you’re angry, you may not see the whole picture. When angry, you would most likely justify yourself alone and judge too quickly. So, it’s better to take the decision when you’re thinking straight and not when you’re under the influence of anger.

Trust me, anger/offence is such a bad influence. If you’re not careful, you would most likely regret its effect.

{Read: Angry? Then, Say nothing}

Your relationship -like a plate – may ‘fall’ and break to pieces – when this happens, remember how much you love eating with this plate and pick those pieces up. Arrange it to make a whole. Don’t be quick to ‘dispose’ it.

I mean, when that relationship of yours encounters betrayal, pain, hurt, and so on. Don’t let burning the bridge be your first response.

Remember the smiles, the laughter, the endurance, the times of peril, and the times of support. Remember the help you’ve rendered for each other. Rather than say he’s selfish, and/or get angry – choose to remember when he once gave you all he had on him (that’s selflessness). When she says something that annoys you – rather than holding it in, choose to remember when she spoke words of relief to encourage you at that period when you were down.

Instead of shouting all around about how he didn’t ask of you, cherish the memory of how he was the only one you pour out your mind too and get the issue resolved.

Don’t be too quick to judge that bad attitude that your fiance is putting up; recall those times you went out together and how happy you were. Remind yourself of the feeling you had when you bought her the first gift.

Those times when you hugged each other and smiled declaring your love for each other.

Instead of picking up a fight with your parents because they didn’t send the money, you asked for, why not choose to remember those times when they had to go all out, taking loans and running into debts just to meet your needs?

Choose to major on the good times and don’t allow offence let you “major on the minor”.

Choose to forgive and let go. People are bound to make mistakes and won’t always meet up to the standard you’ve set for them. If your relationship would ever last long – you would have to learn to ignore. You would have to exhort the good memories above the trying times.

Learn to make excuses for people

For instance, When you call that friend of yours and he refused to answer your calls, instead of saying he is ignoring you – chose to give him the excuse that he is most likely not available. Instead of picking up a fight with your friend for not informing you about a pressing issue, choose to give him the excuse that it skipped his mind.

Prioritize the joy in that relationship above the heartbreak. Hold n high esteem -above offence – that feeling of awe and peace you had when you first met that friend of yours.

Prioritize the ‘major’ above the ‘minor’. Prioritize that relationship.

{Read: Importance of Purposeful Relationships }

Did you find this helpful? Yes? Then don’t forget to drop a comment in the comment section below and to share it with a friend.


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