Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Noble Ability To Forget

Advice.
Everybody has some to give
We often don't follow our own
Lots of people give it out when it's neither asked for or wanted
But every now and then you get a few gems.
That tangible, can-use-it-tomorrow tool that is far from cliche.

One of the best pieces of advice I got right before I was married was that the key to ANY successful ongoing relationship was the ability to forget. No, not forgetting anniversaries and birthdays or how you met or picking up the kids after soccer...

but forgetting the other persons' wrong-doings.
We are all human
We all make mistakes
It is easy to bring up the past in an argument
Sometimes it's hard not to bring up the past in an argument

But it is always easier in the long run to allow other people to be human and not judge them for the rest of their life because of one mistake. I'm not saying forget every time- if someone abuses your leniency or trust on a repetitive basis- that's a from of abuse and taking you for granted and you should cut the cord on said relationship. Certain mistakes are 'deal smashers' (such as physical abuse, etc) and should not be tolerated past incident zero.

But saying something harmful, failing at something, being human... these acts must be forgiven.

As a parent, spouse, leader, coach, etc - you are going to see those you lead, coach, or love in a vulnerable position. Vulnerability leads to strength if one is allowed to push their comfort zone and be supported through that process.
Vulnerability leads to weakness if people are attacked at their lowest point.
Make sure you know the difference because attacking someone when their down will almost always lead them to develop resentment regarding said incident, which inevitably leads them to kick you when you're down and a dysfunctional relationship.

We can turn around the state of any relationship at any time if we are a) aware of our input to any given out put and b) we have commitment from ourselves and the other person(s) to change. We will get B if we change A for ourselves and are openly accountable to our part in that process.

Anybody can be supportive when you are winning the lottery, leaving for your honeymoon, handing our raises, or winning the national championship. The health and long term potential of any relationship is often defined during the not-so-good times; hence the ability to forget and not judge others for their shortcomings as such a cornerstone in leading your part in any relationship.

Want to learn how great you can be and how your relationships can flourish?
Learn to forget.

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