You know, sometimes, the way people do things are simply different. And when you are raised a certain way, socially, you grow up finding certain things “normal”. And who’s to set the boundary of what IS “normal”?
Example: Person A grew up in a two-parent household. Parents had been together for well over 20 years and made good money. But their father would have affairs. But for the sake of their family, their mother stayed. Regular, “I’m doing it for the kids” story.
Person B & Person C grew up in a single parent household. Mother worked 80% of the time, so the neighborhood raised them. But a lot of their firsts, they learned from the neighborhood. Mother dated, not so much for companionship, but so her children had that “normal” 2 figure household. For the questions she couldn’t answer.
And then there’s Person D. Street savvy. Grew up in a home, both parents were very much “involved”. Not together but still active in their life. But drugs were heavy in their home, both used and retailed.
Now let’s evaluate. Person A, at face value, had the “perfect home”. Lived “comfortably” right?
Person D had both parents as well, but lived a completely different life. Person D was exposed to things, Person A couldn’t even fathom.
Now let’s say A & D dated. Naturally, as human beings, there were things that attracted them to each other. A is very free spirited. Always a smile on her face and D is a bit more reserved. He watches before he acts and diagnoses before he chooses. Very, mellow type. A doesn’t feel the world intends her any harm, so she’s an open book. At the end of the day, they are their own individuals, and they move at a speed that works for them.
Until, D has to handle some “business”. He’s gone for a couple weeks, less conversation and no time to hang out. A doesn’t understand, but immediately she thinks “infidelity”. Her father would disappear for weeks at a time, and would simply call to check in or come home to shower and sleep. But D, thinks its insecurities because everyone he’s ever dealt with, has “understood the game”. But he rarely had relationships if you will, he had “partnerships”. And when you’re running a “business”, your partner held down the fort. But something went wrong… D got caught.. he was sent away and next thing you know, A gets a collect call. She freaks. Initial shock is scared for her lover, is he safe? Is he being treated okay? What could he POSSIBLY have done? And then, impressions kicks in. Is he trouble for me? My family won’t approve. What do I do? D is trying to walk her through the steps, he is trying to reassure her that everything is okay. And to him, everything was. He knew this system well and he knew he wouldn’t be there long. But A doesn’t know that! But he expected her to trust what he was saying while he put all the pieces together, but she wasn’t and he couldn’t fathom why. Of course he knew whyyy, but why wouldn’t she want to stand by her man. Right? To him, this was just an example of a woman being the support he needed. To him, it didn’t matter the background differences. She should just want to hold him down. Right? And what A believed fell under ‘standing by your man’, was under different circumstances. And A expects him to understand that she needs time. Right? Perspective.
You see, when we are creating relationships with people. We aren’t just dealing with them. We are dealing with their upbringing as well. What may seem “normal” to one person, is in fact very extreme to another. Similar morals, similar values, even same lessons in life. But handed to them in completely different ways.
What people have stopped trying to understand, is their partner’s perspective. When you are dating someone, you are learning that person. You are seeing if you FIT with that person. And if you guys have the same values, how can you brush up this wall of sticky notes, and turn it into a unified list of bullet points. Compromises.
Yes, while communication is key in life – so is being conscious of other people’s perspectives. And while I am guilty of treating people how I want to be treated, which is useful in many cases. I am learning, it is ideal to treat people how THEY want to be treated. Seems simple, but you’d be surprised how selfish one can be when interacting with people who don’t agree or are unfamiliar with the way that you walk in life.
We will discuss Person B & C on the next post – 2 people, same household, different outcomes. I don’t find it so bizarre, and I’ll tell you why. Until then, thanks for tuning in.