The metaphor walking on eggshells was always used in my house growing up. We all have family members or friends where there is an unspoken rule not to bring up certain subjects.
With my Uncle Rick, you could never bring up the issue that although he was diagnosed with emphysema, he still smoked. He was a chain smoker all of his life and simply had no desire to change. At family gatherings, I found myself downplaying my music abilities because I didn’t want to be asked to perform my latest piano piece in front of Aunt Ada.
Several of my friends have extremely strong views on politics. I know if I bring up the subject of Donald Trump at one of Ralph’s dinner parties, it would polarize our small social group. Therefore, when I am asked what I think about the latest tweet of our President, I quickly change the subject.
As I was gathering information for this post, I came across several self- help books. Some of the titles were: “ Stop Walking on Eggshells,” “Eggshell Relationships”, “Take your life Back.” They all suggest that you do what is best for you. That you distance yourself from the behavior and possibly the person that causes you to walk on eggshells.
I would like to play devil’s advocate with their suggestions. One of the definitions of walking on eggshells is to act with great care and consideration as not to upset someone. I view this as showing restraint.
It demonstrates that you value your relationship more than bringing up a sensitive subject.
As your relationships deepen, you will learn what the other people’s “hot” buttons are. That does not mean you have to use them.
Why bring up your good friend’s spending habits, or your neighbors gosh awful new house color. Demonstrating self-control will deepen your friendship.
Walking on eggshells may be the right thing to do!