A few months ago I was most definitely dangerously close to getting arrested because I was gonna fuck some shit up. My homegirl was right there with me and she allowed me to play out my emotions the way I needed to. She let me vent, be mad, get in someone’s face, and she held my drink. She didn’t judge me, she didn’t try to talk me out of it, and when it was over, she was there to listen to all my ramblings. We laugh about it now. I needed her in that moment to do exactly what she did. It didn’t need to be the right, proper or the most thought out thing. I needed to confront something and nothing was going to stop me from doing it. She figured that she may as well have been there in case anything went down. I’m happy I got to do it and I don’t ever need to do anything like that again. It did need to happen and I didn’t need anyone to tell me that I didn’t need to. She simply understood.
I’ve listened to many friends, in varying stages of their development and I can’t always say I was totally on board with was happening. But even though I’ve had reservations, and I’ve been annoyed, fed up, and flustered, I still listened. There was never a time where I gave up on my friends entirely but I have been known to take breaks. I take breaks from my friends because at times I am simply unable to offer energy that I do not have. I can and will always offer tools, suggestions and books to read, but that may be it. I am empathetic to people’s situations and because of that, I know I may need to bow out for some time. I also know this works the same on their end too. All of my closest friends and I have gone through periods of not talking, and I think that’s healthy. We are all constantly growing and learning things about ourselves and sometimes it’s hard to do that when we are distracted by the energy of another.
We will almost always have an opinion about what a friend is going through. Having an opinion is normal. Choosing to share that opinion is another thing. While sharing your thoughts can be helpful, it may not be received well…and that’s okay. Sometimes questionable choices are worthy of a side eye and a side line. Truly, I have made some choices that were impulsive and totally not thought out….I see that after and it’s totally pointless for anyone to talk to me about it. Once I’ve acknowledged the error, and I’ve reconciled it with myself, the opinion is not needed. I think in general it’s always a good idea to ask if someone wants to hear what you have to say. I believe offering opinions are valuable when we see our friends in obvious pain and even a vicious cycle. How many times can there be a conversation about the same dude or girl before a side eye and a side line is warranted? Talking in circles about the same broken relationship is a waste and that I will stay away from. I also will not be listening beyond a certain point. But, I will not think my friend is any less worthy of love and my consideration. That topic is not worth my time, but my friend is. I’ve been in spaces where I was in a bullshit cycle and I needed that experience to learn myself. We all need that. Guess what? My friends were there in the end, when I came to learn my lesson and they helped me truly move forward. No hard feelings.
The bottom line is that in true and honest friendships, bet on the fact that there’s nothing personal happening. Assume love is at the forefront and words and deeds are being executed with that intent. Take breaks as a sign that your friend is growing and learning themselves. Utilize breaks yourself so you can do the same. We all go through periods of dumbness and poor choices. Man, it’s a total rights of passage. Sometimes we have to go through the hurdles to get to the other side. It happens. Stand by your friends through dark days because they are already judging themselves. You don’t have to agree but you do have to be there when they can’t be there for themselves. Ride or fly friendships are essential.