I’ve been thinking a lot about people who come up to you and call you, just to tell you how good you have it. Perhaps they see that you’re nicely dressed or have a nice car, have well behaved children and get to go out a lot and take vacations..What ever the case may be…
I am not speaking to anyone directly, so please do not feel that this is a blog post about bashing anyone, or gossiping. It’s merely an observation that I have found not too many people write about. Perhaps they do, but I haven’t come across any of there blogs and have read literately hundreds.
I have a small issue here…People do not generally like to hear about peoples personal lives. It is seen as forbidden, letting skeletons out of your closet that should forever remain IN your personal closet. Many people view the skeletons as things that you should ‘take to the grave’. Things that you should never tell anyone, including your significant other, your family, and most definitely not your friends.
At least this is what I have picked up on while living in the South. As up North there was more of a kinship between one another. If you had friends, they shared their lives with you. You laughed, prayed, helped and loved with them. In the good times and the bad times.
Let me share something that may put this more into perspective….
If you are a talkative outgoing person, then you may choose one or two friends to confide in regularly to keep you chugging along sanely. In my opinion this should only be done with people that you really trust. And even then, we are all human and fully capable of letting each other down on a regularly basis, so you really need to know, that what ever you confind in someone, can and often times leaks out. *sigh* It’s gamble I suppose, like anything else. I suppose this is why so many folks remain silent. They don’t want to gamble with their life….But life in itself, is a gamble! What is that saying? Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates? Something like that! :o) And I would much rather live, laugh, cry and love every single chance I get, then to shelter my heart so tight, that I may forget that I have one.
However–sharing your life with a friend will be placing yourself on a judging block. They will judge you, or they may back away from you at times, or they may start to feel as though you are nothing but a complainer. They may feel like you’re too high maintenance, or they may start to not like the people that may be stressing you out. THIS can, and often times become a problem for many. Take a moment to think about a family member that has spent hours on end complaining about their abusive spouse to you, or a toxic friend that they can not seem to let go of…Then, all of the sudden, you find them madly in love with their spouse again, (or so it may seem..) or BFF’s with that toxic friend whom they spend hours complaining to you about!! THIS is where the problem begins. YOU on the other hand can not seem to get past everything that they have told you and find yourself still bitter toward the individual that was causing them stress. You are human, it’s bound to happen! Are we instantly suppose to see our friend happy, and magically forget about all the torment that they were going through at the hands of another?
Ex: If I am someones shoulder to lean on, or their sounding block ,that is fine… But if I’m only hearing bad things about a spouse or a family member, I may find myself guilty of becoming bitter to the person who is troubling my friend. Is there an alternative? I’m not sure. I guess you’d have to be a VERY open minded person.
That said, you can choose to not say anything about your life to anyone. Well, anyone but the person who prescribes your meds, as that is where you will end up by not talking about your life with anyone. We were made to be social. And there is a far cry between Gossiping and being social, yet many are taught that they are one of the same. I disagree with that twisted train of thought. However, if you only have one or two people whom you confine in…Really, who needs more then that anyways. Or, if you have a healthy support group to get non bias opinions from a large group of people, which may be beneficial to some folks..That is also an alternative.
Sill more issues arise though. You will still have friends who look at your life with eyes of envy because they simply don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, so they will assume that your life is pretty perfect if you are NOT sharing any details with them. Does this mean you should spill all your life’s events with every friend that you have? NO WAY!! That would be a recipe for disaster! But what do you do when you start to either feel guilt, having your friends think your life is a bed of roses..OR, start to feel anger, because you have friends carry on and on about how they wish they had your life. NO LIFE is perfect! No family is perfect, and no-one of this side of heaven is perfect! To portray a perfect life to anyone will only come back and bite you later on.
What is the right balance regarding friendships? How much is too much and how should you handle friends who presume your life is perfect when that is all they see? Do you think it’s better to remain silent? Take it all to the grave, like some folks feel? Do you only discuss your life on a need to know basis?
These are the unanswered questions….