This week's blog is on relationships, and +specifically when there is a communication breakdown in a relationship. Have you ever had problems in a friendship because of communication? Well, I just experienced a series of emotions after I did something which resulted in damaging a long-standing friendship as the result of decisions made in the interests of an organization. After careful consideration, going back and forth and accepting my part in the breakdown of the friendship, the question I should have asked myself is: what would I have changed if I could turn back the clock?
I finally accepted I would change nothing. In the end what happened was what should happen. If our relationship had to be damaged or even sacrificed, I accept it. I have nothing to apologize for, I acted in accordance to my obligation to my organization.
I knew that my loyalties were being tested by the situation we were in. One of my colleagues had actually asked me if I could act for the good of the organization even if it harmed my friendship? Of course, I could say it was only business, and not personal, but I hate when people say that because it is always personal, indeed it is difficult to separate business from friendship.
For sure, my first impulse is to justify my action. Honestly, I do feel bad about my part in this drama, and I feel terrible that I let my friend down, there is no denying that. I am truly sorry. My friend gave so much I knowledge her contributions to the organization, her dedication and commitment mean a lot. I know I hurt her. And for that I am sorry.
Of course, according to the demands of friendship, I should have showed up for my friend, when I realized how events were unfolding. But I remained silent. The truth is that I was scared -- scared of being seen as not having the right intention and commitment. I was scared that my motivation would be put into question and my loyalty would be perceived as putting a friendship ahead of the organization. Yes, I admit this is beginning to sound a lot like rationalization.
Over the years I have done a lot of self-realization work to improve myself and become a better human. I think any apology would fall on deaf ears, especially since my email is blocked. Perhaps after some time and with a little perspective my friend will be open to hearing my perspective and my acceptance of responsibility for my role in this story.
It is inevitable as humans we will encounter conflict and crisis. And it is inevitable in relationships that there will be miscommunications. At the end of the day, how we respond in a situation will either elevate us or prove we are not as evolved as we believe. For me, acknowledging that we have a story, and it is our bias and perspective that creates a translation of the events that either validates our story, it will either make us right or wrong.
In this case, my two loyalties were put to the test. My friendship did not prevent me from acting as my duty and conscience required. I can regret that I caused pain to a friend, but having spent a few days reflecting on the situation, I don’t regret my actions.
In end, although I do feel bad, and for the time being I must accept that the only communication to express my regret through is this blog post. One my friend may never read. Technology has created and opened communications like never before, however it has also made it more difficult to communicate. I accept that my friend does not want to hear from me.