Tuesday, May 16, 2017

To speak up or not

Hi,  So I have had a couple of new experiences these past few days, and it has posed as question - to speak up or not? Maybe you get what i'm saying. Your friend is going through something, and instinctively you can tell, but they haven't said anything to you yet, so do you ask? do you drop hints? or do you leave it alone?

I've never been one to just ignore that a friend or family member is going through something. I feel it is part of why I am empathetic, is to be able to be there or help someone. Good or bad. But some might say it is just my ego saying hey get in there.

I don't think it is.

I've had two experiences in the last 24hrs that as they are both different I feel I acted the same. One being a family member that my gut says is in a situation where they may be caught up in some shiny stuff and not acknowledging their full feelings. And another where a dear friend needed someone to understand them but never reached out because they've felt like they were wrong for feeling the way they did.

So in the first instance with family, I didn't necessarily ask if they were sure about their situation, I implied it by stating that I was happy they were sure because when people are not sure *gut sure* things can go badly. I told a story about a personal experience where a couple of my friends thought they were sure about their to be long term commitments but in their gut was the tiny spark of doubt because small things were going on that could have been see as signs. I told how those people when they didn't listen or pay attention to those signs the ended up leaving those situations. I never once said that is whats going to happen to her, I simply said, I am happy you're sure, because I've seen what can happen when people are not. She took this story telling as me being negative towards her situation. Where she said she's happy and sure about her commitments.  She interpreted my sharing of other peoples story as an offence and began defending her situation. I think personally, if you're that sure about what you're doing, and the choices you've made, then a story of other people not working out shouldn't offend you.  I think I was correct to speak up. I don't think she thought so, but this would not be the first time someone didn't like my message.

On the second experience, My dear friend has gone though a tough divorce, there was not a lot of friendliness in it at all. There is also a child involved. She was telling me all about how unfortunately her ex husband has now developed a serious illness in the midst of their divorce and she had concern for his well being. I told her it was completely okay to be concerned and to put all the negativity behind them to focus on supporting family.  This surprised her. She shared that being kind in this situation was something she really wanted but felt she couldn't because everyone around her things she should still be angry. She started to open up about how deep down inside she thought she might still love him as a friend and missed that he was her best friend for so long. I encouraged her to tell him that. Again she was surprised I said that. "BEX thank you so much for saying that, you're the first person that made me feel it was okay" "Of Course it's okay to love him and miss him. Love is the strongest energy in the world and he's still your family. Why keep fighting when you don't even want to anymore. Why not be open and honest and tell him you love him and you miss your friendship!!, He is going through medical problems right now, love and friendship is going to help everyone a lot more right now, a lot more than anger and resentment." Plus, your kid can learn kindness, forgiveness and love from this situation!"

I think this was the first time in a long time she cried. She cried relief that this might work out okay, she cried because I was the first and only person who told her it was okay to have the feelings she did. She is a love and kindness person and the anger and resentment of her divorce wore so harsh on her she hatted the whole experience. So I suggested to do it her way, because just maybe he missed his best friend too, and just maybe in this tough time for him, he needed her. In this situation, again I am glad I spoke up, I feel it gave my friend a voice that she didn't think she could have.

So what are your experiences? Have you ever thought I should have said something but felt it wasn't okay to speak your mind? Have you ever held conviction that what you said was exactly as it should be, regardless of consequences?  In both these instances I have done exactly this before with each of them, the difference is one thinks I should mind my own business and one trusts that as a friend I am always going to tell her the truth and that I always have her best interest in mind. So who is right?


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