What can I tell you?

in life •  3 months ago

I have a feeling I've written this before. But, as @tarazkp and @eveuncovered have recently mentioned – does it really matter? It's so hard to keep track of what one's writing, particularly on a platform such as Steemit that produces so much content daily.
And even if I have touched upon it before, it's still on my mind – so the question remains unsolved, regardless.

This, like so many things in life, is about friendship. And what kind of friend you should be to someone. I've always been the complacent kind of friend. Well, not always, but I'm usually more permissive and accepting than other people I know. I don't like to pop your cloud. Maybe it comes from a fear that you won't be my friend anymore, if I do, who knows?
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But I don't do that. Or at least, I didn't. Lately, I've noticed an...added pair of balls, as it were, when it comes to advice and my friendships. Maybe it's part of growing up, but generally, I find I'm tired of listening to the same BS from someone and more likely to call them on it.
Just the other day, someone was telling me about an idea of doing something and immediately (well, it wasn't the first time I'd heard it, so I wasn't exactly pooping on their parade) I pointed out some accurate pitfalls and minuses in the plan.
This might not be the best way to go, maybe you should look at doing this instead.

I wasn't trying to tell them what to do, by no means, I was just pointing out an obvious problem in the plan (with reasoning and examples, not just because I wanted to be against). And immediately, I noticed a coldness toward me from that person, a closing-up. But you don't understaaand.
Only I do understand. And I was only trying to help. It seems normal to me that you should point out that the plan will crash because of X. I mean, isn't that what friends do? Or are you, as a friend, see it and just let it crash?
Because if you do that, then they'll come back going – why didn't you warn me about X? And besides, your friends feel like failures.
Seems to me like a lose-lose situation.

And so I got to wondering what kind of friend you're supposed to be – the kind that just nods along or the kind that points out things that may be issues/bad for you.
My best friend is the latter kind and lately, while hanging out with some of her friends, I noticed not only the same attitude from her friends, but also acceptance from them towards what she said. They didn't close up and go 'well, you don't understaaand' although they easily could have. No, they took what she said, thought about it and probably judged it a pertinent observation, because their attitude towards her didn't change. And I thought, see, that's how it should be.

I'm not asking why we got different answers – that depends on the individual and on what you're used to. If your friends are used to you voicing your thoughts from the get-go, they won't take offense. If they're not, then obviously when you do voice them, they'll be upset you're not blindly encouraging them anymore. So, I'm in no doubt about why that happened, but rather which is the correct way to go.

Isn't it my duty as your friend to point out such things? You shouldn't smoke, it's very dangerous. I'm not close-minded, I can accept that you enjoy smoking, for some reason, but the stuff could kill you – is it my duty, as a friend, to stand by while you die?

Don't seem right to me.
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'What a complete asshole' – when spoken about a partner, a potentially deadly phrase. Seriously, this sentence has killed way too many friendships, and here, the rule I mentioned above no longer applies. Even if you're used to me being straight with you, as a friend (because he actually was!), you'll still have a hard time when I say that about your ATM sun-and-stars. I tested that one on my own skin – it lead to a fallout I hugely regret.
But still, a phrase that we should learn to accept. It's hard and at that moment of crazy lovey-dovey stuff, maybe impossible to accept, but at some point, you need to be able to stomach it. And you need to surround yourself with people who'll tell you. I spoke that exact phrase about a friend's ex a couple of weeks ago and briefly, as we were talking, it crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn't say it. She might take offense. But then, I thought fuck it, you know, if you can't be honest with those closest with you, then what's the point?
Naturally, it wasn't an issue.

But it often is. We lose friends for being honest, and we shouldn't. And those friends might accuse you of not supporting them, not believing in them. No, there's a fine line between blindly encouraging every foolish shoddy plan/relationship/bad habit etc and supporting someone. That's precisely why I tell you the truth – because I do want to encourage you. I've never said 'you'll never do anything with yourself' or that sort of negative, harmful crap. I've only said 'wouldn't it be better if', pointing out an issue, but supporting the idea itself.
And yet, most people don't want tough love. They just want to be allowed to live in their bubble, where everything's just great.
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I was just talking last night with @galenkp and he mentioned how people are much more coddled these days, encouraged to be victims. And I think this is the issue here. Instead of taking what I told you and using it to your advantage, you choose to wrap yourself even deeper inside your bubble and cry that I don't believe in you.
I do believe in you, but with this attitude, you're making it very hard to.

And besides, why do you need friends, if they're only going to say 'yes' and nod at how amazing you are and how everything you do is perfect? You've got yourself for that.

You know, there's a scene in 'Sex and the city' where Carrie is having an affair with her married ex and she tells her best friend, Miranda, 'I need you to yank me out of it'. That's precisely what friends are for, to see clear when you can't.

But maybe you're best left alone with your distorted image...

Thank you for reading,

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I have a circle of friends that I hang out with, lately. About 90% of the time I listen and nod and smile and agree, because I enjoy being with these people. The other 10% of the time I speak my mind but I try to be respectful. Seems to work out for me, they still invite me back to group activities! 😀

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You got a 38.55% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @honeydue!