Thursday, July 28, 2005

What is Petty to you may be a NASCAR legend to someone else

Ok, the play on words in the heading is not really where this piece is going. The other day some of us were discussing relationships. It came up that some people end friendships over petty issues. Some examples were offered. Yes, it seemed undeniable that some people do indeed end deep, significant friendships over incredibly small issues.

In our discussion, however, we realized that none of us would end a relationship over a petty disagreement, so why would other people. Perhaps the issue wasn't as petty to them as to us.

Here is what I think. I don't think people walk away from friendships over petty disagreements. one of two things is at work in such cases, or maybe even a combination of both.

First, by definition, if something is worth ending a relationship, it is not petty. The person for whom the issue at hand seems petty needs to do all he or she can to see things from the other person's perspective.

What may well happen from this first point is that the person will discovery that there is more going on that just the apparent issue. Thus, not only is the issue at hand less petty than the individual thinks, but it may well also be only the straw that finally broke the camels back of the relationship.

If you have been in a relationship that someone else chose to end for seemingly petty reasons, look deeper. Try to see it from his or her perspective. Consider that that petty issue may have been just the last in a series of issues.

Of course, if you have no desire to heal the relationship, forget that last paragraph and go on with your life. But don't be surprised if the same thing happens again.


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