Saturday, June 25, 2016

Meddlesome reflections

I am a meddler. 
Sometimes I can't/won't keep my mouth shut. 

I still think it's just communication, but I'm aware others may see it differently. 

I will say I generally appreciate it, at least in the long run, when people tell me what they think or what they think they would do or even what they think I should do in a situation. Maybe that's not healthy on my part. But to me it seems like it can be a healthy part of dialogue and communication. 

What prompted this was awareness of the meddlesome aspects of a text I sent my niece the previous week. I quickly followed with a text expressing my concern to her that I had overstepped my proper place in commenting on a situation, and all was well. 

But then I found myself doing it again in another family situation. Writing the words above helped me to rein myself in. 

I do think intent and motivation can make the difference in whether something is meddling or just healthy communication or feedback. But it's not always easy to be clear on my own motives. I just have to stay very aware of these issues. And even if my motives are pure, it still can be received as meddling, and the recipient's perspective is equally valid as my intent. 

Of course, I've also learned from experience that, when I do overstep healthy boundaries, I can attempt to make amends. And God's grace most often allows my efforts to set things right to be accepted. 

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