The Breadcrumb Snatcher
#WonderingWhitleyWednesday was she overreacting or was I wrong like a right shoe on the left foot? Confronted with a real talk is not always easy.
“Whitley, we need to talk.”
I’m pretty sure your heart is pumping out of control just reading this line just as much as mine did hearing it in real time. I don’t think there’s a soul alive who loves to hear this phrase no matter the tone, time of day, or circumstance- even if good news is attached. We are usually thinking,“What did I do wrong? Tell me NOW!”
It’s weird because I didn’t grow up hearing this phrase, nor were there many opportunities to have a two way conversation when it came to conflict resolution. The options were; an a** whooping, yelling, getting ignored, cut off, or passive aggressive actions or language that let you know there was a problem that I could count on being held accounctable for, without the slightest clue as to what I did to offend or harness the discipline I was receiving.
Given the history, you can imagine why when someone says “we need to talk,” I associate it with being in trouble and receiving punished for it. Now being an adult, who has decided to intentionally focus on healthy communication in my relationships, this phrase still gives me a bit of anxiety, but I do have to appreciate the effort and initiative this phrase has in bringing a problem to light with a bit more respect and thoughtfulness. Emphasis on “a bit.” (But we will revisit this in future entries).
I had a roommate who is also a really good friend. We shared a restroom and bedroom so of course our personal items occupied the same space. I have to say she always had the nicest lotions, body washes, jewelry, basically everything girly that I also enjoyed. Needless to say that I helped myself to her things quite often.
I asked the first time, but then it got to a point where bottles were now being emptied, expensive glitter was no longer shimmering, and I dazzled in stunning decor at my own will. Inwardly, I knew that this had become a pretty intrusive habit, but I soothed myself with thoughts of my sincere intentions to replace the items I had used.
“Can we chat when you make it home tonight”
I dreaded receiving that text message on my drive to work one morning, as I shined and smelled like springtime daisy’s from a very expensive lotion tucked away in our closet. My intuition told me what the conversation would address, but it did nothing to cure my now frantic anxiety. I had been caught glitter handed and knew I would soon face the music.
We missed each other that night, but the next morning she accompanied me in the bathroom, placing her hands under her thighs as she rocked herself on the lid of the toilet preparing to speak.
Her: “Whitley, I noticed yesterday morning that you’ve been using my lotion and now it‘s almost gone. That lotion is very expensive and I only use it during the summer time. To be honest, I’ve noticed this with a few of my items- where you use it, leave it almost empty, and you’re not even replacing it.”
Passively applying my makeup: “I can give you the money to replace it (my defense when I knew that it was not necessary).”
Her: “ It’s not about the money, its that you’re not asking permission first and then when I go to use it, it’s empty- and I’m wondering why you do that? It just seems really inconsiderate.”
“.... you‘re right it is inconsiderate and I apologize.”
I knew this was a pattern and I was grateful for my friend’s courage in bringing this to my attention, even though I noticed it on my own. It was not until she spoke up letting me know she is not blind to what is going on, that I truly felt how my behavior was affecting her feelings toward me and subsequently the strength of our relationship. This awareness allowed me to explore other areas of my life and gauge my ability to treat a person according to how they want to be treated, not my own rules.
This was not the first time I’d been in a situation like this, but this was the first time in my adult life that I took responsibility without trying to defend my intentions, fix the problem, or take her correction as a personal attack toward my character (this was also due to how she approached me, but more on this feminine principle in June)!
She courageously confronted me with dishonoring her boundaries. It gave me an opportunity to step up in a real way that I both needed and was finally ready to receive.
Have you ever been in a situation like this with a friend, colleague, or family member?
Which role did you play? Were you in my shoes or were you the person having to initiate the talk?
How did you prepare for it if you had to initiate? Were there any inner blocks or fears that you had to silence in order to do it?
If you were on the receiving end, did you feel the need to defend yourself, fix the problem by offering solutions, feel attacked or that they were being unreasonable?
Was this an easy conversation for you to initiate or receive? Why or why not?
What were your feelings and thoughts toward the person before or after the confrontation?
If you’ve never had a situation like this, how would you respond?
Would you consider this an issue of boundaries for either party?
“The life you want is on the other side of the awareness you accept & the decision you make as a result.”
We are exploring #Boundaries for the month of April. Check back in on Sunday as we continue this conversation. Week 2, we will go deeper into the first of the 3 “Warning Signs That You Maybe Running a Red Light.
Follow me @WhitWhitHurray on Instagram to keep up with blog posting and #WonderingWhitleyWednesday Live Talks.
Peace. Love. & Soul- Glow Grease.