Upon reflection, I want to add something about the most effective ways I’ve found for dealing with a conversation that misses that “generosity of spirit”.
I’ve found the ultimate strategy for myself, in what I term “walking away”.
When I struggle in a situation, realize that it has ceased to create life for me or any other, that it in fact has taken on a vampiric nature, I simply walk away. Sometimes this feels particularly difficult, sometime it feels easy as turning my back.
But always, always, implied in the act of walking away, I go to rest, regroup, reflect, and possibly (if relevant) return.
In friendships that I wish to maintain, I return as a matter of course; I actually keep them alive by this periodic withdrawal. It can become so second nature that it begins to take no time at all, for some relationships. I don’t even have to leave the room, it occurs entirely in my head. For others, with more intense feelings that I have difficulty sorting out, it takes longer, and requires a physical absence that may take a while.
But in any case, I never censure myself for any failure, for not rising to some fixed standard. Fundamentally, I want to understand others, and have them understand me. I know this. With this intent, I simply do what I need to do to make this happen. No divine beings sit in judgement of me; only I know if I live a life worth living.