As my husband just said, “Good question, because I was thinking the same thing.” I am writing this in response to Timmerie’s entry. I would suggest reading the entry for it will give you a little more detail of where this entry is being inspired, but I would also just suggest reading her blog. Wonderful woman who is a great example to young girls to adult women.
Your girlfriends are those who can encourage you to conquer the world then undercut you with a simple few words or actions.
When I was in high school, especially my first day into Junior year (literally) I found myself disliked, angry, misunderstood (or misunderstanding someone), surrounded by drama, and feeling an all out battle. That was just from one friend unexpectedly deciding she was wanting no ties with me and wanted to make sure any friend associated with either of us was on her side. It was not a good two years, and in all honesty I do not like thinking back on friendships in my high school days.
That being said, as a result to those years I have anxiety when it comes to friendships, always wondering when I will lose the next friend or even if a friendship will become one. If I do make friends I fear speaking against them, their attitudes, or even just tell them they are not the center of the universe. I become what one woman, who is a friend calls: People Pleaser(I know that is spelled wrong, but then again I do not believe there is such a word in the dictionary…yet).
It was in 2008 when I met my Godmother/Dominican Lay-sister and friend that I thought there was hope for me to have friends, especially girlfriends. Of course, every friendship will never be perfect. So there will be rocky roads, but even with the rockiest of roads, friendships like the ones I have with my Godmother, Em, and few others pull through.
Given that high hope, especially when I became a military wife, I thought the drama and hurtful times in high school would not surface as much. (Nothing is perfect except for God) How wrong I was on that note! This is not an entry to bash people, but address the issue at hand of how things turn almost deadly by just the way one goes about with the friendships, especially girls.
Right now, I am dealing with what I sort of dealt with back in high school. I decided to distance myself slightly from a person whom I considered a friend. (Reasons were I am person who understands that someone can be negative, but not all the time. I also understand that if things are not going right, but basking in the pity and center of attention bugs me) I think I may have finally in one event snapped back at the person telling them ‘I wasn’t going to argue with them over something they will listen to my opinions about’.
Since then I have not heard from, been spoken to, or even been acknowledged by this person, which if that is the way it is then fine. But, this is not where it ends.
The sad thing is, girls really need each other to be challenged and grow. Too often friendships end over a plethora of reasons. The result is an army of friends, acquaintances, and people (completely unrelated to the situation) choosing a side.
We have a few common associations, one of them being a woman who I thought was a great person to talk to. Since whatever happened with me and the person, the woman has not spoken to me either. I just blew it off thinking you know she is busy or because she has children and a lot on her plate no worries. It did not come as a problem until she left something at my house. She only contacts me to get it back, but she doesn’t want me to find time to ask my husband to take me to her house and give it to her personally, she wants me to take it to the person’s (who apparently, doesn’t like me) house.
This causing me frustration, for I know this woman who item I have at my house passes my house almost everyday, I have seen her car pass when I am opening my windows to let in the sun. Why not just to my house and pick it up? And so, this brings us to the quotation from Timmerie’s entry that I quoted above. When did we go back to the ways of high school methods, or for that matter why do we do this all together?
When I have contemplated it only two things come to mind: Fear and Selfishness. The fear is when people start choosing sides, there is the risk of the isolation and loneliness that MIGHT happen if we choose against one party to another. Many girls when they choose sides go with side that would either hurt them the worst in the long run or the one with the most ties to.
And Selfishness, that isn’t just the people fighting over probably something small and stupid, but those who choose sides. In the end they choose to save themselves than to step in the middle and say, ‘Quit using us as toys in your war’ or ‘Do not put me in your troubles’. Their selfishness fuels their fear, and in the end they are just going to live in an endless cycle.
So, what can one do? Whether you are one of the parties in the feud or sucked into the crossfire of the two I hope this list of advice helps:
1. Pray for them and for yourself: I know that sounds corny, but praying for them helps fuel the fire of love and reminds us that we are love the dignity of the person, not the actions they take upon themselves or us.
2. Do not gossip or persuade: It is okay to vent, even to those who might be associated with the person who might be friends with the one you are having the trouble, but remind them that (as I have told a few who I have spoken to) I am just venting not asking you to choose sides. (Even now, I know I was venting, but I am not asking someone to side with me, and if you try to, please don’t.)
3. Do not choose sides: Listening to them vent is okay, but you who might be in the crossfire need to either choose to let the person(s) know you are not getting involved or be that outside observer for them. Sometimes they do not know the damage they are causing others or themselves. If they do not listen, just know and hold firm to the ideas of not getting involved. Be a listener not the judge or jury.
Though I can get mad over the situation I am in, I cannot help but want to wish all those who somehow got involved or are involved the best in their lives. I pray for them, and if I do vent, I am always telling people sorry (including my husband who is one of my closest friends, in fact one of my best friends).
I hope that I was able to voice a good opinion on the issue and give some sound advice.