Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment. Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like. I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up. The gossip. The hurt feelings. The misunderstandings. The fights between friends. The back-stabbing. And I remember being told that it would get better. I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different. The words may sound a little different. But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally.
Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues.
Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits.
Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war.
Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode.
Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue.
Adults use mean, fighting, inappropriate, intentionally hurtful words.
So, to all the teenagers I out there, I’m telling you the truth now: It’s not different when you’re older.
The only thing that will make your future relationships different from your current relationships is you.
You can identify the healthy and unhealthy ways you tend to interact with people.
You can listen well, empathically, and first.
You can respond with grace, respect, and appropriate language.
You can be helpfully, healthily, honest.
Even though relational drama and conflict have not gone away as I’ve grown from teenager to adult, I’m a bit better at handling it now than I was then, and I still have a LONG, LONG way to go.