relationships Dear Kid (and Bunny),

Let’s face it, it’s the people closest to us who have the ability to hurt us the most. It’s their opinion we value, their respect we seek, and their praise and approval we crave.

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child–King Lear

Sometimes we change our behaviors and opinions to “fit” better with what we think those people who are important to us want.

That can be a good thing (like agreeing to wear a suit to your cousin’s wedding because your mother expects you to look decent even  though you’d rather be in a pair of jeans and a blazer); it can also be problematic (agreeing to jumping off a bridge without a bungee cord because your significant other goads you into it).

Those are extreme examples, but the point is that it can be difficult to figure out when you’re doing something because you care about someone (sure, we can go for Mexican food AGAIN) and when you are being manipulated or changing your thoughts/behaviors in an unhealthy way. It can be even more difficult for those around you to tell which is which. Although (and here’s the real kicker) sometimes it can be easier for others to see what we can’t see for ourselves. Darn this is hard.

It’s called Growing Up. Sometimes it’s called Life.

Bottom line, kiddo. When someone has concerns about a relationship you’re in, take a deep breath and try to hear what they are really telling you (the real message probably isn’t that the person didn’t say “hello”). When two someones have concerns about a relationship you’re in, take an even deeper breath and really, really try to hear what they saying. No one says you have to act on that information (unless you’re talking to me, in which case you really do), but listen. Ask yourself “what would it mean if they are right?”

And then respond politely. There are lots of people who love you and are trying to help you through life with as  few major injuries as possible.

Love, Mom