When I told people I was going on a girls trip with eight women to an island for a week I got some looks. Eight women, eight personalities, eight perspectives. Yea, I bet you’re dying for a good reality TV worthy story and to know if it was a recipe for drama and disaster…
Nope, we didn’t all align, but that’s ok because are we really supposed to? That’d be pretty boring. Some of us are the up with the sun and go out to breakfast type while others (me) would rather sleep in and have a lazy morning, drink some coffee and make my way down to the beach. Since I’m usually pretty active it may surprise you that I’m not a big vacation excursioner. Yes, I’ll paddle board, walk on the beach, or ride a bike into town, but for the majority of a trip you’re more likely to find me relaxing in the ocean with a piña colada than on the shuttle to swim with stingrays.
That brings me to another thing that may surprise you. I’m terrified of swimming with fish! I don’t really get it, but on day one of the trip a friend and I were making our way to the water trampolines and all these fish swarmed up around us. I screamed and jumped into my friend’s arms holding on with a death grip until I got to “safety”. (Sorry Tori!) I’ll look at the fish, feed the fish, catch the fish, eat the fish, but something about them touching my body in the water terrifies me. Therefore I don’t have any cool personal stories about stingray city or snorkeling. 😂
But back to real story. There were those personality differences within our group and we were all awesome with that. We didn’t have to do everything together. It’s why we really don’t have pics together of all eight of us. While that part worked, personality and lifestyle differences did bring some conflict.
One of my friends on the trip is a lot more of a “feeler” than me. She has the biggest heart, would help a stranger in need, know if something is bothering you, and give you a listening ear for days. Me on the other hand? I’m not as good at that. Ask anyone who knows me and they’d be like, Kari? She’s not going to naturally be perceptive into what you’re feeling. It’s true. I’ve always been more focused on facts and not one to rehash what someone said or to assume their intentions or get caught up much in anything involving feelings or drama. It often just seems like a lot of energy that doesn’t get me anywhere, but that’s just my brain. It doesn’t mean I’m right. And it didn’t serve me well early on in the week with this friend.
The details aren’t the point. The point is what I learned about handling it. During said conflict another friend said something to me that really resonated.
She said, “Meet feelings with feelings and facts with facts.”
I was like, hmmmmmm…. yes! That makes sense. What I was doing was meeting my facts with her feelings. And guess what? It didn’t work and perpetuated the conflict because it made her feel unseen and misunderstood. A facts person like me would instinctively meet the situation with facts, maybe agree to disagree, and wonder why there is still an issue. But I’m viewing the problem as something tangible and not seeing it as something intangible like feelings.
Lesson I’m Learning: You guys, I’m not good at this. I conceptually understand how some people’s brains are really different than mine, but lots of times I don’t know how to be a good friend and give them what they need. I truly think it’s a lot of how I was born, but that’s not an excuse because I want to get better at it. So if you’re my friend and I do this to you, help me! Lol. What you may see as obvious in your brain, my brain may not detect.
Challenge For The Day: I’m going to work on being more aware to those who are more sensitive to feelings that I am. If that’s you, I won’t be offended if you point things out to me. But I will probably ask you how you’d want me to handle whatever it is so I can learn.
Here are some pics from the Caymans and at the end of the trip I still had all my friends. 🙌🏼🌴🥥☀️🐠