Here’s my latest blog post for HopeAfterDivorce.com … I’m Sorry
Here’s my question: Why is it so difficult to say something, anything, even just an, “I’m sorry” not when we personally did anything wrong to someone else, but when that someone else is going through something difficult?
Why do some people hear of someone else going through a rough patch and decide to disappear for a while. Suddenly, they are too busy for a phone call, too busy to stop by, too busy to write a quick email!What’s going on here?
Does this look familiar? My friend, Lisa, was recently told by her company that her job was being eliminated. She has four weeks to wrap-up what she is working and transition out of her role. She understands. She’s not bitter. In fact, she has an incredibly positive attitude about the whole thing.What she is devastated by, however, are the number of “friends” she has at work who have stopped communicating with her.People whom she used to speak with daily (in person, via phone, or email) have suddenly disappeared. She hasn’t heard from them … at all. She asked me why I thought this was. All I could come up with is a comparison to my own experience when I was going through my divorce.
I found when word got out that I was going through my divorce that some people rallied around me in full force, while other friends seemed to pull back. I don’t think that old adage of “ you find out who your friends are” holds true necessarily.I don’t think that some people intentionally decide, “You don’t have a job (or a husband) anymore, and I’m not going to be your friend.” Rather, I think that some people have what I’ll call “survivor guilt.” Perhaps they wonder why you lost your job, or lost your marriage, and not them. They feel guilty talking with you and worry about complaining about how much work they have to do, or how frustrated they became with their husband last night.This seems cruel, they think, when you don’t even have a job or a husband.
I also think this group lacks a certain amount of social etiquette or emotional intelligence.They can’t quite comprehend that “ignoring” a situation doesn’t make it go away.In the case of my divorce, it wasn’t going to go away no matter how many friends chose to ignore it or ignore me. Furthermore, ignoring me in my time of “need” doesn’t make me feel any better. “Bad” things happen to people every day. We can’t ignore them and pretend they don’t exist.
I have heard people rationalize their behavior by saying, “I know I wouldn’t want to talk about it over and over again, so I’m not going to bring it up … at all!”I’ll concede that is a valid point … except there is a difference between bringing it up, acknowledging it, and moving the conversation forward to a different place, and bringing it up, belaboring it, and leading the person to a place of negativity.
What’s a person to do? What’s the right answer? Here’s my advice. When you have a friend going through a tough time, address it head-on, let them know you are here for them, then move on. Be mindful to the clues the person gives off. Do they want to talk about it, or would they rather not, and be open to either.
If a friend or co-worker has a parent who passes away, just say, “I’m sorry to hear about your mom,” and move on. If a friend or co-worker loses her job, just say, “I’m sorry to hear about your job … and I’m happy to refer you to a recruiter I know if you want an introduction,” and move on. If a friend or co-worker is going through a divorce, just say, “I’m sorry you are going through that. Please let me know if I can help you with your schedule (or something like that),” and move on.
The point is this: address it; don’t ignore it. As human beings, we want to feel connected to others. We want to feel recognized and understood. For our friends or colleagues to suddenly ignore us because of what we are going through becomes the tremendous “elephant in the room.”The consequences persist.It can become difficult to re-establish a friendship and the former level of communication without an obvious awkwardness over the gap that existed.
I think Mahatma Gandhi had some incredible things to say. This is one of them: “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” Don’t be a coward. Be brave. Just say those two little words, “I’m sorry,” and be a good friend, colleague and co-worker. Be capable of showing love. Let people know you are aware of what they are going through. Acknowledge it. Support them through their valley. Letting them know you are thinking of them is so much more powerful than ignoring them and the situation at hand.
What do you think? What is your experience with saying, “I’m sorry” when you have done nothing wrong?
It’s been a busy few weeks … and I’m afraid it’s been a while since I posted an udpate. Why? You know how BUSY it always seems to get right aroundThanksgiving? Well, that’s my excuse. I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving, a couple of birthdays, and preparing for the December holidays!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t backtrack a little bit to Thanksgiving and comment on a great feature put together by Northside Woman magazine. They asked several of the women they had featured during 2010 to put together a list of the things she was most thankful. It was amazing and inspiring to read all the different things that these women put down on their list.
Here’s what I wrote:
I’m thankful for my faith, my amazing husband, my wonderful children, my fantastic mom, our good health, my rescue dogs (and people who support pet adoption!), lifelong friends, new friends, and all the friends in-between, a positive relationship with my ex-, fall football, “Saturday in the South,” the love of reading, my phenomenal business partners, my iPhone, Johns Creek UMC and Buckhead Church, the ability to give back to others and to role model that for my kids, the impact of “The High Road Has Less Traffic,” traveling to places I’ve never been, soft blankets and hot soup on a cold day, Starbucks, the beach, talks and walks with friends, Lake Oconee, my kids’ baby books, hot summer days, blue skies, big smiles, belly laughs, Survivor, high heels, pedicures, new adventures, comfortable routines, the power of prayer, and the beauty of forgiveness.
Have you put a list together lately? It’s an excellent exercise! Really makes you think about, and appreciate, all that you have to be thankful for!
What do you think?
Justin and I had a joint CD (Let Go & Let God) and Book (The High Road Has Less Traffic) launch party this past Saturday night. Thanks to everyone who came by to support us and wish us congratulations. We really appreciate it! How fun to have an even larger number of books and CD’s … AND … shirts, signs and necklaces proclaiming the ‘high road. less traffic.” philosophy in circulation! Check out the shirt and necklace in the photo (and the new shorter haircut!)!
Stay tuned for some upcoming PR including press in Around About Cumming magazine, Best Self Atlanta magazine, Sashay magazine, and Better Times Pittsburgh.
I love the fact that we are getting the ‘high road. less traffic.’ philosophy out there! Keep it coming! What do you think?
A huge thanks to Stephanie and Skirt Magazine for the great comments about The High Road Has Less Traffic! Love the reference to the high road being called “a genius concept!”
By skirtySteph, Friday, September 24, 2010
If only my parents had read this book before, during or after their divorce. The High Road Has Less Traffic by Monique A. Honaman is a book about getting through divorce with more positivity. With respect for each other. With morals. And by doing the right thing by each other.
What a genius concept.
My parents get along great now and are able to be in the same room with each other, each other’s significant others and enjoy themselves. Thank god. I wish this book was around then to help us, our family, friends and most of all—them.
Written from the POV of a girlfriend voice, Monique is honest and blunt, faithful and funny, sarcastic and heart-felt.
Thanks to Greg Bullen at WMPC Radio in Michigan, and Host of “Off the Bookshelf” for the great interview last week about The High Road Has Less Traffic. When Greg first contacted me about the interview, I (of course!) went searching on the web to see what I could find about him and all that I found talked about what a great host he was and how much fun he was as an interviewer. He didn’t disappoint. He had clearly done his homework and we had a great interview as you will hear on the attached MP3.
Fun stuff … he’s now going to be interviewing Justin about his new CD Let Go & Let God later this month!
Take a listen … what do you think?
I was thrilled to be a guest on the High Velocity Radio Show this past Monday. Hosts Todd Schnick and Stone Payton were incredibly entertaining, and we had an absolute blast. And it was a ton of fun to share the “air” with Justin. He talked about his newly released album (check it out on my website at Boutique Monique) and I, of course, discussed the book, “The High Road Has Less Traffic.” The full interview will be posted in the next few days, but as a ‘teaser’ Todd and Stone released this short video that they shot at the end of radio interview.
What do you think?
Are you familiar with SheKnows?
Getting to the heart of what it really means to be a woman, SheKnows (www.sheknows.com) attracts nearly 45 million unique visitors. With editors dedicated to providing daily content for women seeking advice, information and a fresh, fun take on life, the site is an authoritative source for women ages 18 to 54. The SheKnows audience gains access to exclusive content on entertainment, parenting, health and wellness, money and career, dating, beauty and style and more, and are offered a stimulating, well-rounded online experience enhanced with a vibrant message board community, free games and activities and captivating blogs.
SheKnows recently launched GeoParent which offers Moms (like you and me!) Local Information on Attractions, Events, Activities and More in 10 U.S. States and Canada!
SheKnows (www.sheknows.com), one of the fastest growing online content and community global destinations for women, recently launched a new regional parenting resource called GeoParent.com. This website caters to on-the-go, busy moms wanting to treat their families to the best of what 10 U.S. states and Canada have to offer in a targeted fashion.
GeoParent.com is an all-in-one regional-specific hub aimed at parents looking for tips and advice on the best family attractions, events and activities in New York, Arizona, California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, and Canada. GeoParent picks prime articles covering various sections that include Family Attractions, Best in the U.S. Festivals & Fairs, Fun Places for the Kids, and more. Besides activities alone, there are also numerous editorial pieces in Health in Your Area, and What Your Lunch Style Says about You that pertain to parents across the U.S. and Canada.
“With the vast amount of resources SheKnows has, launching GeoParent to target mothers on a local level was clearly a sublime project to initiate,” stated Kyle Cox, Vice President and General Manager of SheKnows. “This local channel provides moms with detailed articles on the best attractions for families that are practical and budget-friendly, with informative pieces on child safety and more.
SheKnows is a terrific resource in and of itself for women like us! They’ve done it again with GeoParent — a terrific resource for moms like us!
What do you think?