We all face hard learning curves and unexpected lessons growing up. The intricacies of adulthood continue to catch me by surprise. I had no idea how often I’d be expected to wait. Standing in line at the grocery store, sitting stationary at a red light for what feels like an hour, or the awful hold music in your ear as you wait to get a manager on the line. It feels endless.
Even harder is waiting for your family. Not waiting in the literal sense, but being patient with them. Patience is difficult when you know better than they do what should happen next. It’s even harder when you’ve seen them make the same mistake time and time again. What’s next to impossible is correcting someone you hold so dearly when they are wrong. A call out means embarrassment, followed closely by hurt feelings and for some, long term grudges.
Family bonds are so strong that it’s hard to justify stirring the pot. It’s always simpler to leave things well enough alone. But when people are causing problems and friction at every turn, eventually something has to be done.
It would be amazing if everyone had the capacity to hear constructive criticism about themselves. It’s easy to nod, smile and pretend to listen all while wrestling the pang of incredulousness back into the pit of the stomach. Those words are falling on deaf ears.
For too many, pride is king. Where does that leave everyone else? They are banished to the sidelines to watch poor choice, after destructive action and detrimental behaviour. They hold back genuine concern for fear of being received as harsh.
Too often we use patience as an extinguisher. We close our eyes, hold our breath and squeeze that trigger blindly until the situation is over. We tell ourselves holding our tongues is kind. In hindsight, it seems cruel.