Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Silent Friend

Friendships can be difficult. You have to know how to "handle" certain people. If you're a true friend, you know that honesty is most important - but you have to know how to give it to each person. Some can take that "blunt talk" while others, try as they may, can't take it and need to be told the truth but in a more "soft" way. When asked about situations, friends normally give the REAL about what they think or they take more of a psychiatrist's approach and asks questions which all but spills out how they really feel. Either way, it's a point that's generally understood.

Then there's the gift of...silence. When you tell someone about something you're going through or something you're about to do and they say NOTHING, it tells you everything. Sure, you can say, "Hey what do you think about that" or, "Why are you so quiet," but you know the answer. They completely disapprove and though as we get older we care less and less about what people think of us and our actions, we want our friends' opinions (at least the good friends who've always been loyal and honest) about said situation.

I've been on both sides of the coin. On the heads side: A friend has been going through something for at least 9 years and after the first two to three years of listening and voicing my displeasure (oh I can be real "stank"), I decided that enough was enough. I told her and our other friends who would listen that I no longer wanted to hear about it because I thought it to be stupid and ridiculous. For the record, the other friends did too but they think/thought that as a friend, they should listen. When my friend would bring up the topic, I'd blank stare and she'd say, "Ok ok, I know you don't want to hear it." Lately, she's been slipping it in to our conversations but my silence on the other end of the phone makes her totally uncomfortable and she will always say, "Ok...moving on."

On the tails: My friend didn't like a way I was handling something. She thought I was giving more than I was getting out of a situation. I always saw her point but [somewhat] disagreed so I continued to tell her and she'd give her opinion. One day, I told her something (don't remember what it was)and she said, "Oh ok." At that moment, I knew she was not checking for it anymore and preferred that I give it a rest...at least for a little while. I wasn't upset or even hurt; I just came to the conclusion that she thought, "What the hell else can I say to this grown woman? She's going to do what she wants." Indeed.

The Point of It All? The silence is not [necessarily] meant for you to think your friend no longer cares about the things going on in your world. Perhaps, they want the best for you and know that nothing they say can help you. So by saying nothing, you get an idea of their opinion without having to literally hear it again (thought we know that silence speaks loud too). You have to come to your own realizations and if you don't, you have to be able to sit well with that too. On your Own.

Just some thoughts.

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