Reply To: A friend upset me… destroyed me for the week.

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This one immediately caught my eye!

I try to be very careful about how I respond to people, but every now and then I think I reach a point of saturation. Last winter a good friend was complaining (once again) about something her husband had done. I won’t go into the details, but it was kind of typical, and IMO she puts up with a lot from her family, in general.

I’d been really sick with the flu for almost 3 weeks, so I guess my ability to filter my response was not working. Anyway, I told her she needed get a “f**king backbone.” I was worn out and tired of hearing about it, and at that point I felt like I didn’t even care about our friendship. So, it was probably harder on her than it was me.

We eventually mended things, and I wish I’d handled it differently. That is not my normal response, and I could have done so much better!

On the other hand, I find social media to be very hurtful at times. I’ve commented on something, not thinking that much about it, only to discover I’ve managed to offend someone! I’ve even had them gang up on me!! I’ve quit a couple of groups because I felt as though the topics were often a “setup.” They were meant to be controversial, but it seemed as though they were fishing for the people who didn’t agree. Sometimes it’s impossible to have a civil “conversation” and people will say some awful things that are completely untrue. Yet, I take it so personally. Why? They don’t know anything about me, and are making assumptions based on a very small bit of information that really tells them nothing.

The only thing I can say is we are all flawed, and we all make assumptions, say things we wish we hadn’t, and misunderstand one another. Sometimes people react because we’ve said something that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s an issue for them. They don’t always do a very good job of explaining or trying to understand. Friendships take work, and that means being able to tell the other person why something bothers you. It also means not making them feel like the “bad guy” by placing all the blame on them.

I’m a work in progress, and I keep trying to see how I can manage my interactions and expectations in a more realistic way. Sometimes I fail, but I think/hope I continue to do better.