Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you the things you really need to hear. Thank goodness I have good enough friends to tell it to me straight. I got a little dose of tough love that I needed today. Like a vaccine, it stung initially, but long-term it will be good for me.
So, one of my shortcomings as a friend is that I tend to talk too much. I have so much I want to say and share, that I have a tendency to cut people off or monopolize a conversation. Sometimes I will go weeks without thinking about this. Then, I'll be with some of my friends and realize that I am a conversation hog and get embarrassed. I will make a conscious effort to be a better listener. But, eventually I slide into my bad habit.
Confession time: Tonight, I was talking to one of my favorite people in the world. We were discussing something that we both felt strongly about, but didn't necessarily agree completely on. In my rush to debate the issue I cut her off. Several times, I am embarrassed to admit. Finally, she called me out, as only a real friend can and said, "You never let me finish."
Ouch. Sting. That's the shot I needed. I can't let my enthusiasm overtake the common respect I should be giving to anyone nice enough to have a conversation with me that doesn't involve Legos, Star Wars, or Princesses. Her words were not intended to hurt, but to help our friendship. I am pretty lucky to have friends that will say the tough stuff in a loving way, and with forgiveness and no grudges.
Please tell me I am not the only one with a personality trait or two that needs tending. I hope I am not the only one who continues to struggle with a few annoying quirks that haven't quite gone away.
This is something that I have struggled with for a long time. I prayed about it once a few years ago. God answered that prayer a little too well.
I had prayed, "God, please help me be a better listener. Please?"
This prayer took place less than a week before Ben and I were going on a long weekend trip to Duluth, MN. (We try to take one 2-3 day trip alone each year). I hadn't been sick at all, but the day before the trip, I lost my voice. I couldn't speak louder than a whisper, and even that took a lot of effort. And I am a girl who never loses her voice.
So for 3 days, I had to listen, truly listen to my husband. I listened to him for a 2 1/2 hour car ride up and back. I listened to him at restaurants and museums. By the end of the trip, I think I was listened out and he was talked out.
This experience proves that God answers prayers, and that He has a sense of humor.
Hopefully, I can continue to have friends loving point out how I can improve in the friendship arena so God won't have to work as drastically to get the point across to me. To all my friends I have cut off - I'm sorry and I'm working on it.