Part one: comments and critiques may break my bones, but silence will break my heart.
RuleOfStupid wrote an awesome post about feedback and friendship and other stuff… 🙂 Something he said struck me, and hopefully he wont mind if I quote:
“People who really know you can’t be mean to you, because they know your story and the battles you have fought to be who you are. So anyone who is mean to you does not know you. So it cannot be personal. In which case they’re not being mean to you, they’re just being mean.”
With all respect, I must disagree with him.
There are several people connected with me who have been mean to me and it is because they know me very well that they are able to do so.
Usually this is just one of my siblings, angry at me for something I did or said to hurt them. I may be nice, but I am not good. Sometimes the evilness just pours out of my mouth and before I can stop it, my verbal poison has struck deep. They retaliate by saying something equally mean. Knowingly mean. Pulling some deep insecurity out from the depths of my soul and rubbing it in my face. It can get real ugly. And only someone who really knows you can be that mean. Luckily, unconditional love is stronger than verbal poison, and it all works out well in the end.
But here is a case where it does not work out well: Lets say, for the sake of argument, that a wife leaves a husband, and the husband’s family decides to never speak to the wife, EVER AGAIN. Even though they knew her and loved her for almost twenty years before the split. These people are not just being mean, they are purposely being mean to the wife because they know her and know how much this silence will break her heart. Did she deserve to be treated this way? Perhaps… Probably… Yes, but it still proves my point: People who really know you CAN be mean to you. Meaner than strangers could ever be.
Part two: TMI.
Oops, did I say to much? What if, while building a friendship, even a blog-friendship, you learn things about a person that you don’t like? Doesn’t that kill the friendship? Friendship, like every relationship, needs boundaries. It is better to only show the nice side of your personality, to tell only the stories of the honorable battles fought, to keep the mean or judgmental thoughts and the cruel past acts hidden, in order for people to like you.
I want friends, but if honesty is part of friendship, then I will fail every time. I cannot be honest about everything I think and feel with a person who does not already have a built in unconditional love for me. Because to know me, is to not love me, to paraphrase the old saying. I am not putting myself down, I just haven’t lived the most, well… exemplary life. Deep inside there is a part of me that is selfish, who wants to lie and steal and cheat, and who can be very, very mean.
This is why I try so hard to just be nice, to everyone, all the time. I want people to like me, not for who I really am, but for the person I strive to be: generous, honest, and faithful.
But here I am breaking my own rule again, spreading TMI all over my blog, and scaring away potential friends.
Will I ever learn?
4 thoughts on “More on Friendship”
Breathe easy Jasch.
I sort of agree with what you’re saying. These people know you, and use that knowledge to hurt you.
Yet I maintain that they are not really hurting you. You could be anyone. They are angry and upset and want someone to take it out on. So it ceases to be personal and becomes just ‘taking it out on’. Just because they know information about you, does not mean they know you.
I don’t believe anyone with full information would do harm to another. Thus we are only people with fragments of information doing our best and making mistakes. Hell, we learn by our mistakes – it’s just some arseholes think a BIG mistake is unforgivable. It isn’t IF you learn BIG things from it.
Anyway. The world is judgemental. You cannot change the past, only live better now. I will wager your mistakes are less than mine, but even if not, they are yesterday, and I wish to know you today 🙂
Thanks RoS. I too believe that someone with full information would not do harm. Too bad it is almost impossible to have full information of another person. You’d have to live inside their head to do that, and until body swaps become reality, (i.e. Freaky Friday,) I’m afraid we are stuck with not enough information and too much assumption!
I don’t mean to imply that I dwell much on my regrets, I don’t. I am a true optimist at heart and always find the best side of every situation. However, I enjoy talking about my past mistakes, mainly as you say, to learn from them. I have scared people away with my frankness before, and most likely will do so again.
I am getting the feeling that this strange group of people here in this blog world might be exactly the friends I have been looking for. Who else would be as supportive of my indulgent behavior as a group of people who also like to talk about themselves without interruption. =)
Fuck ’em. Don’t think of it as scaring away – more, sorting the wheat from the chaff 😉 Only the strong survive!
Yay, join the self-indulgent crowd… anyway, enough about you. I’ve got this weird rash on my cleft, it’s sooo itchy, look. No, go on, look, what is it…
eeewww. did you not understand my comment about boundaries?!? 🙂
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