When Someone in Your Life Gives You Lemons...
Updated: Aug 28, 2021
Everyone has heard the saying "when life gives you lemons make lemonade," but it has been my experience that life is just life (and we have to be able to cope with it, but that's a different blog), but the things that are really sour in life often come from other people.
When You Requested Peaches
When someone in your life gives you lemons, especially when you requested peaches, the way you respond says a lot abut the way you view yourself and others. What I mean is that when you respond it tells the other person who matters to you.
There are a multitude of ways we communicate, but 3 are found to be the most common:
Each of these ways of communication tell a message to ourselves and to the person or people we are communicating with. When we are passive, we are sending the message that we don't matter. We take the lemons, don't say a word, and often bob our head and say thank you. The message that we don't matter is received by the other person, and internalized by us. This does damage to the relationship and to ourselves.
When we communicate aggressively, we are sending the message that the other person doesn't matter. This situation often has a negative impact and creates a passive responder on the receiving end of the aggression. The aggressor will alienate people, surround themselves with those that won't challenge them, and use their aggression as a defense mechanism to avoid anything they find uncomfortable. They will take the lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze it in the eyes of the person who gave it to them.
It is when we communicate assertively that we send the message that both ourselves and the other person matter. This is often difficult for an aggressive communicator to accept as they often do not like boundaries or may feel challenged. This is sometimes difficult for passive communicators because they may interpret it as being aggressive.
Communicating our legitimate needs, wants, and desires is effectively putting in place boundaries with others. When we put boundaries in place, you will find that they are the hardest to accept by the people who have been benefitting from not having them in place. This can cause the passive person to lose a "woe is me me" identity with you, and will cause the aggressive person to have to face issues rather than yell the loudest to avoid them.
Passive = I don't matter
Aggressive = You don't matter
Assertive = We both matter
So, What Happens When Someone Gives You Lemons?
As the new saying goes, "when someone in your life gives you lemons and you requested peaches...firmly hand the lemons back, tell them thank you, but that you asked for peaches." After all, they deserve to know how you feel, and you deserve to be heard.