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Friend or Frienemy? Which are you?

Do you know what a banshee is? She’s a mythical hag who screams when someone is about to die. Nobody likes her. Don’t be her.

I have an effervescent and boisterous personality. I mean to say that I’m fun-loving and vocal. Alright, I’m loud and opinionated. But I’m working on it. 

In my day, I am absolutely certain that I have annoyed, ticked off and even hurt people. Not always intentionally.

Right now, you’re thinking of someone with a quirk that drives you crazy. Probably that “loud and opinionated” friend. Perhaps it’s that friend that usually flakes. The one that consistently shows up late. The one who’s always complaining. It’s easy to see the nasty bits in others.

Humor me for just a few moments. Set aside your awesomeness and laundry list of peeves and consider this: YOU might be THAT friend.

Now that you’re reflecting upon the potential dreadfulness you’re inflicting upon your friends, don’t you wish someone would let you know? If everyone else knows – and they do – don’t you want the chance to apologize and make things right?

There’s a plethora of enemies disguised as friends, aka “frienemies”. They are the friends who stay offended and make sure everyone else knows how offensive you are. I could pretend I’ve never played the role of frienemy but that would be misleading. We all have. Here’s your chance to abandon your treacherous, frienemy ways. You see, a true Friend “speaks up” and a real Lady “shuts up”. And knowing when to do which, in what situation, will serve you well all the days of your life!

Bookmark these guidelines for the next time a conflict arises…

*A Friend Speaks Up*

Do I love my friend?
Do I want our relationship to grow?
Yes? Then you have a duty to speak up. Oscar Wilde said it best. “True friends stab you in the front.”
The goal is to deal with the offense, put it behind you and move forward as better friends than before.

A few tips on approaching your friend:

Approach your friend when you’ve had time to cool off

Do you know what a banshee is? She’s a mythical hag who screams when someone is about to die. Nobody likes her. Don’t be her. Give yourself time to think about why you’re upset and what you should say.

 Approach your friend from a place of humility and love

Keep in mind, you aren’t trying to teach your friend a lesson or put her in her place. You need to bring a hefty dose of humility to the table. Defenses go up when you sound self-righteous. Remember, we’re all wench-y sometimes.

 Approach your friend with specificity

a. Avoid vague phrases like “gah- you‘re so annoying…” Hear how whiney that sounds? Why did it annoy you? How about this instead?
“I value our time together and when you take phone calls when we are in the middle of a conversation, I feel pretty unimportant to you.” It’s specific, it’s to the point, and it’s not itchy with a “b”.
b. Don’t use phrases like, “I was offended” or “I think you are rude”. Again, if you sound sanctimonious, you’ll close the doors for reconciliation.
It’s important to note sometimes that the issue at hand is YOUR own quirkiness, not your friend’s. Own up. This little ol’ world might just revolve around something other than little ol’ you. Maybe you’re the one who needs to assess your own expectations or offenses.

 

*A Lady Shuts Up*

 A Lady exercises her right… To keep her mouth shut.
“But it’s so hard! She’s so obnoxious!”
While that may be true, you don’t want to join her ranks. It requires great maturity and self-control to resist talking about that irritating someone. Be a lady.

 Bravely refrain from voicing or hinting at your disgust if:
– the relationship in question is non-meaningful
– the issue is unworthy of your precious time and energy
– it’s Nunya business

 To be a lady is to understand the immense significance of a person’s character and avoid it’s assassination at all costs. After all, gossip reflects the nature of the circulator, not the subject. Marinate on that.

 At the very least, be gentle and courteous to even the most annoying types. One thing you can always count on, you will reap what you sow. Especially our words. They are notorious for coming back at us- with a bite.

 

*Wise Words*

Here are some pretty great things said by some pretty smart peeps.

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out ~ Winston Churchill

I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody. ~Benjamin Franklin

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.
~Edward Wallis Hoch

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth. ~ Jewish Proverb

What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away. ~ Chinese Proverb

 

– Vanessa Moline – lovely friend, not frienemy