In this post, here, I put together a list of things that we ought to give when engaging in relationships with other people. In that list I left out a really important one:
By way of brief illustration. My daughter has a close friend, her best friend. I’ll call the friend Joanie — not her real name.
My daughter, an extremely capable, intelligent, mature, dynamic, young lady, used to experience occasional bouts of insecurity as to the solidity of Joanie’s friendship feelings toward her.
In response, I pointed out several simple truths, one of which was that, by definition, the two girls’ maturity levels were always going to be different. Therefore, the two were always going to be making decisions, saying things, doing things, that would cause the other to roll her eyes … inwardly at least.
Since my daughter is the more mature of the two, I told her that she would spend a lot more time inwardly rolling her eyes, than would Joanie.
Then, I suggested to my daughter that she should make a decision, right then and there, that if she valued Joanie’s friendship in her life, then she should acknowledge these eye-rolling incidents … and then forget them entirely.
If they were important things, then, of course, I said, she should discuss them with Joanie, but otherwise just let them go.
My daughter has taken that advice, and has had a really beautiful, truly deep, friendship with the less mature, less capable, slightly neurotic, less wise Joanie.
Being patient with Joanie’s episodes of selfishness, immaturity and general cluelessness has allowed my daughter to see and appreciate the numerous other beauties that Joanie possesses. This has allowed them both to enjoy each other’s company and friendship on a level that is an absolute delight for this daddy to see.
You know what? I had the same conversation with Joanie about my daughter.
It’s a big’un! A big, big, really BIG big’un!