*Disclaimer* This blog has been in my head for days and I intended on writing it yesterday, but we all know the day went to the land of crazy and I just didn’t have it in me. In the past twenty four hours, there have been some things that have happened that might make a few people think this is directed at them. While I won’t lie and say I don’t think they could get some insight from it, this is not about any specific person.
When I had my breakdown, it was not something that happened in one day. In honesty, it was coming for months and I was just completely blind to it. During that time I was making decisions that some did not agree on. I was made to feel as though I were this terrible person for some of the things that I said. People that I considered my friends suddenly not only disagreed with me, but put me on the defensive. Only after I came out the other side could I begin to see the why of all of it. I am not saying I have all the answers. God knows I don’t, but here is what I learned during this journey through what was nothing short of a nightmare for me.
When someone is traveling a path that you find dangerous, wrong, stupid, etc., you can absolutely say “Hey, I am worried for you.” It is okay to say “Are you doing okay? Are you sure this is something you can handle?”. What is not okay is to come at someone with anger or nastiness. Do not tell them “You just want a yes person otherwise you push people away.” That could not be further from the truth.
What I needed was someone to say “I don’t get it. I wouldn’t do it. Here is why I wouldn’t do it. Now, having said that, I am HERE for you and I will listen when you need to vent. I may not like what you say, but I realize my role in this journey is to be your sounding board. I will tell you I think this might not be the best idea, but when you tell me that for you, this is your path, I will do my best to accept what you say and just be here for you.”
What no one needs is the “tit for tat” comments. When someone answers your questions and you decide it isn’t good enough for you, to immediately demand a better answer or for that person to adjust to your way of thinking is just ridiculous. No one can know what they would do in the situation, no matter the situation, until they are placed in it. Instead of a dialogue, which is what you wanted, you have a person shutting down just when they needed their friends the most.
In reference to the most recent incident, this is my take on it (and ONLY MINE). I have expressed much of the same fears that were expressed to the person in question by another party. When I was told “no worries, I have it figured out” I knew that my role was to simply be her friend and to allow her a safe place to vent. Would this be something I could undertake? I honestly do not know, but I have told her that most likely I couldn’t.
Coming from kindness and saying “Wow, this is a huge undertaking and are you sure you can handle all of this along with the other things going on in your life” is far different than “You are making a huge mistake and it is going to hurt you in the end.” The first opened the door for a conversation and a plan on how to move forward. The second ended in angry words and two good friends not speaking for the moment.
Do I think that this made me a “say whatever makes her feel better” kind of friend? No. I have expressed my feelings, been assured she can handle the situation, and now take my role as “vent board”. We all needs those friends that we can just be US with without fear of judgment. I don’t always agree with everything my friends do, but I never allow that disagreement interfere with our friendship. Unless the decision in some way hurts myself or my family, it is frankly NONE OF MY BUSINESS. I will be there to listen. I will offer my thoughts, but I will never say “you are wrong.”
Kindness people…it really is a lost art.