My Speechless Encounter with My Crazy Neighbor

I am running down the stairs, late, again. I am in a wool suit. I am sweating in the wool suit.  I am less than thrilled.  But once I see the front door to the building I realize I am almost home free.  HAHAHA FREEDOM!!!  Until...I run into my crazy neighbor. NOOOO!!! I was so close! So damn close.  It's over. I know it's over.  And it's my fault.  I should knock her out of the way and make a break for it. But I don't. I listen to her stories. She tells me how her cats like butter not margarine, why the word Ebola is predominantly comprised of vowels, and my favorite, her frequent urinary tract infections.  

Why am I writing about this?  Because something wacky happened to me last time I ran into her. I was late, again.  Boom, crazy neighbor popped up on cue. Hopes dashed. Ensue conversation.  But this time I decided to try something new. I decided not to judge how the conversation would go. I wouldn't cover the stairway with negative energy and blazing fury. Instead, I quieted my mind and just decided to listen.  And holy moly, she actually had something to say.  

She had heard that I was engaged and asked if I would mind if she could give me three pointers to a healthy marriage? I stood speechless holding back the wave of judgment trying desperately to pour into my head. And so, through gritted I said, "please tell me about your pointers for a healthy marriage." So she continued:

1. Compromise.  Compromise, because often times something is much more important to the other person than you realize.  Just ask and get an idea of what is more important or more special and choose that.  No need to push an agenda when it's unimportant to you. 

2. Friendship. Yes, romance is important but friendship is truly a gift. Explore the world with your friend, share with your friend, live! with your friend. It's two for the price of one. Like cats (I didn't understand that part).

3. Talk. Talk about what is bothering you. Not what is bothering you about the other person but what is bothering you.  Speak about how actions hurt and right or wrong it is how it makes you feel and go from there. You may be surprised to find out they had no idea you felt that way. 

I was speechless. Crazy neighbor just dropped a major bomb on me.  In a lucid moment she gave me some incredible advice. And why? 

Because I decided to change my way of thinking, in a moment. Instead of being a sour puss, I actually was curious to what she had to say. And wouldn't you know, she said some pretty valuable stuff.  

Moral of the story, it's only you that you are screwing over with negative nancy thoughts of other people. You might as well switch gears and see what wild adventure it will take you on. 

Bryce KennedyComment