There is a young local couple that we see every time my husband and I go into town. They're always holding hands, smiling, laughing, and always seem so happy. A few days ago as we sat at our favorite spot to have espresso, I saw the girl just across the way, sitting on a bench, but this time she was alone and she looked very upset. We found out that her and her fiance got into a huge fight and he left for Sicily and she doesn't know when he's coming back. We didn't know the details, but I do know that it didn't start as anything serious, yet turned into something huge because of built up issues (okay, I have to say, it's not that people are super gossipy here, it's just a very small town where everyone knows everyone). As I saw how sad she looked, I thought to myself, how could something that seemed to be going so well, just turn for the worse in an instant? Isn't there something they could have done? Couldn't one of them just have swallowed their pride to work things out?
Growing up, it wasn't so easy for me to swallow my pride, I feel I'm pretty extroverted, so I like to talk things out, buuut I also liked thinking that I was right. Now as an adult, having the kind of open relationship I have with my parents, siblings and close friends, has taught me otherwise. Also, in the past 3 years, I've learned so much about "swallowing your pride" from my husband.
My husband is a very manly man; an outgoing, sports enthusiast who loves working with his hands, but he is also a man that is not afraid to admit when he is wrong and to say sorry. He has literally been down on his knees saying sorry, for even just a small little thing, that I may not even have been upset about. He definitely knows how to express his love in so many ways and in return I do what I can to show how much I appreciate and respect him. When I'm upset or we get into an argument, more often than not, he'll beat me to the punch to resolve things and tell me how much he loves me, and from there, another great conversation is born and we get the chance to understand each other even better. Now, this may have been bourne through years of long distance communication and learning to understand each other through language barriers, but if you have the heart to grow and sustain the relationships around you, it's definitely worth the effort.
There are so many different situations in our lives where we may hold our tongues to avoid confrontation or because we think it doesn't really matter; or times we may speak too soon, not fully understanding, or maybe misinterpreting things for what WE think or hear others saying (this isn't only between couples; this can all be present in relationships between friends, siblings, parents and children, coworkers, family members, etc.). I think that all of these things can and may lead to heated discussions and arguments; which, by the way, isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless it isn't resolved properly.
Why is it so hard for so many people to just swallow their pride if it means our happiness and resolution? Sometimes the start to resolving these kind of situations can be as simple as saying one word, "Sorry." I know that just saying sorry isn't going to solve the problem, but it can be the beginning of a great compromise. For one person to be able to swallow their pride, whether they were wrong or not, can be the first stitch to repairing a small tear.
Swallowing your pride doesn't necessarily mean that you're always the first one to say sorry, especially if you don't mean it, but maybe it means initiating communication for reconciliation. I feel that most things, if not, everything, can be worked out with communication, words of encouragement, insight and intimacy into each other's lives, even if it is just to "agree to, disagree"...and IF you're willing to open yourself up to that person, then you have given each other permission to speak words of life with one another and accept each other despite all the points of view each of you may have.
-Rubi Anne Dijamco Agostini