When we put walls up between us and another person out of fear, anger, or hurt the following is almost always the justification: It’s all their fault. Now, sometimes, which we will talk about in the second half of the month, there is reason for protective walls to go up, but those are made out of wisdom, knowledge, and reason. That is not what I’m talking about here.
Here I’m talking about the group of girls who stopped talking to you, so you put a wall up between you and them. Or the family member who you are no longer talking to because… well, what was the reason after all? Those walls we put up almost always have a few fingers sticking through them at the other person. Our goal is to prove how right we were and how wrong they were. Bringing these walls down are hard, but one thing that helps is when we stop blaming them and start accepting responsibility for our part in it.
Through my reading and research my eyes were opened to ways I messed up relationships. Not things I out and out did "evil things"; sometimes it was a reaction rather than an action but it still made more problems. It is so easy to simply blame the other person for everything when it is a reaction, but I am still responsible for myself. How many times did I tell my children that when they were growing up? I am still responsible for myself regardless of what anyone else does.
The list of things I could have or have done are numerous, and could go on for a long time. Did you, or have you: fought to be right rather than for the relationship; used a tone of sarcasm, belittling, or self-righteousness; tried to control the situation or person; given the person grace to change; taken responsibility that should have been theirs; forgotten that we needed help along the way as well? As I said, we could keep going.
The point, however, is not necessarily making the list as much as it to realize the list is there. Once we realize we helped to make the mess that is between us and another person, we start to not blame the other person quite so violently, and that wall we have put up might actually start coming down a little bit.
Now, look back at that wall that you have put up around you. How much of it was caused by your own little hands rather than just the person on the other side? Stop seeing the other person as the only one to blame, and you might be surprised how many bricks just start falling down all on their own.
The list of all the posts for this series can be found in the Table of Contents.