I know that sounds gender specific, but it isn't.
In Conflict Communication, we reveal a very simple truth: If you have no friends, or all of your friends are assholes... you're an asshole. That's the only way it works.
None of us truly see ourselves. Any thinking person has insecurities. Every time I teach I hit the wall: "I don't know this person, I don't know what she will face. Anything I know is about me in my environment... who the hell do I think I am? Why am I even..."
But I look at my friends. The people I can talk to. The ones who understand and listen and, back when that was the job, would just assume that I would take point. Not sure whether to put names or descriptions or nothing right here. There are good guys and (former) bad guys. Specialists in extremely rarefied worlds. Tough and smart and skilled. Women (since I brought up gender) who know more about killing and the price and the lines than most instructors could ever dream. Far more than I ever will.
We share a glass, and we share stories...and somewhere in there we all feel slightly at home. Because someone can understand and know. Things that we have to talk around or ignore with others.
I have no great darkness. Nothing special. And I am always slightly in awe of the quality of people willing to spend time with me.
It can never be completely objective, but if I want to know who I am, if I feel doubt... the answers are in the company I keep.
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