Today I find myself pondering intention.
I approach life with the best of intentions – always. Even when my good intentions are met with avarice, I try to look for the good in the situation. Mind you, this isn’t about being a PollyAnna or a martyr or a doormat. This is about believing most people mean well even if they don’t express themselves in a kind, nice, or even civil way.
Noticed I said ‘most’?
What I’m really considering, when I say ‘pondering intention’ is what to do when someone’s intentions are not good. How do I react when people in my life are so exclusively negative that nothing seems to make them happy. No thoughtful act – large or small – brings happiness and any effort in that direction is met with sour, negative words. In fact, efforts in that direction are often met with a response which tells me exactly how and why my efforts are being viewed as horrible, hateful and terrible.
At what point do you simply throw up your hands and walk away? At what point are you forced to acknowledge that people who choose exclusively to see only problems – real or imagined – are just not worth your time?
Furthermore I am pondering how a rational, healthy, self-aware person negotiates this divorce. Do I simply inform said sour friend that I must remove myself from contact as a matter of self-preservation? Do I share with such a person that I simply can not take anymore of their draining, negativity? Do I share with them that I don’t find it fair that all acts of kindness are met with hostility and a litany which typically begins “I need to tell you were wrong to say/text/call/write/offer because the next time I expect you to follow these rules…”. Without question next time the rules will have changed, without notice, and there will be a new lecture topic. I am in a place now where I find this too upsetting to endure any longer.
Or, do I calmly and quietly walk away and cut ties without notice or explanation?
I am perplexed by what my true intention is in this situation. I know I can not continue in this relationship as it currently is. It’s toxic and damaging and recovering is taking me longer each time. I know it’s up to me to change how I show up – what I’m wondering is at what point is it an option to stop showing up. After all, I have tried every other option (humor, heart to heart talk, ‘I’ statement, etc.) I have available in my arsenal and nothing has amounted to a new paradigm.
So, today I find myself pondering intention and how to appropriately respond to someone whose intention always seems to be negative.
If any of you dear readers have suggestions, ideas or strategies I would absolutely love to hear them. Please share in the comments here or on my facebook page.