Friday, May 13, 2011

Say What You Feel

A few weeks ago my friend Shine spoke to me about a series of arguments she'd had with her BFF. Shine had a lot of feelings about how she was being treated but didn't speak up and  let the anger and frustration weigh on her and their friendship.

I've been there, and sometimes I revert to that place of passive aggressiveness. There was a time in my life (back in the day) when I would be so angry at one friend and tell the other friend about it, without addressing the issue with the person in question.

My mother and her sisters playing dress up.They always say how they feel.
During my time in therapy I learned how to find my voice and communicate. Part of that process involved reading a few books like: The Five Love Languages and Getting the Love You Want. (check out fellow blogger Suijery's take on The Five Love Languages). 

Although these books focus on couples, it helps you understand the dynamics of your important relationships and how to communicate (speaking clearly and actively listening).

Once I started to understand and value myself more, I was able to communicate my feelings. But I warned Shine- be prepared for the potential backlash.

It's never easy to change the dynamics of a relationship, and when you stir the pot a lot of crap is bound to come up. But if the friendship is important you need to be ready to plow through and give it the best shot at repair. If the other person isn't willing (which is what happened to me) then you must be prepared for the possibility that the friendship might end. Some friends are only in your life for a season.

I'm  happy to report that they've spoken and aired out some issues, so it's fair to say that their relationship is definitely on the road to recovery... but it takes baby steps.

We're only human and we can't fill all of the needs of our friends. We also can't expect them to fill all of our needs either. All you can ask is that they do their best to be a good friend, Just keep in mind, their best and your best will likely be completely different. And that has to be ok.

“Be who you are and say what you feel 
because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind." 
~Dr. Seuss 

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