Willy and I started talking again, and I listened - really listened - even though his way of saying some things was harsh to my ears. As he finally got the chance to express how he had seen things, I began seeing things that I needed to change in myself - not just with him, but with other people, as well.
We're ALL guilty of approaching people in a manner that reflects how WE receive information, and we find ourselves bemused when our messages don't always get across. As honest as I was with Willy, the way I delivered those messages was self-defeating. He doesn't receive information as I do, and I am guilty of not perceiving that.
It's a hard lesson to learn, as another friend has told me...but it's one worth learning, because it'll make it all that easier for me to communicate with everyone.
I am blessed to be sharing my virtual life with two other men, both of whom approach the world with kindness in their hearts. Not only have they both shown me kindness I have needed, but they've helped me see how I can also go forth with more kindness in MY heart. I am forever grateful to them for that.
They also offered me different perspectives for seeing/hearing things. I've learned to put aside my automatic feelings of affront and listen to what's "behind" the message. This has enabled me to truly hear Willy's pain, and respond to it.