Sunday, October 11, 2009

What's A Friend To Do?

I have 319 friends. According to Facebook. Facebook doesn’t distinguish between husbands and wives, college roommates, cousins you only see when someone dies, best friends from elementary school, high school sweethearts or next door neighbors. The net is cast and the bar is low. Unfortunately, when Camilla gave the lesson this afternoon in Relief Society about friendship, my first thought was, “How many friends do I have on Facebook?”.

Realizing this was sort of a stupid question in the face of an actual discussion about real friendship, I began to think about how many real friends I have. The kind who are my friends because they love me and not just because they recognized my name on the Friend Suggestion list. A lot of names came to mind and I thought about how blessed I am. But what about me? What kind of friend am I?

I could be better. A lot better.

I’m wrestling with something that happened a few days ago and I’m wondering if I handle it by ignoring the person or speaking my mind. This person is a relative so it makes it more complicated—it’s unlikely I can avoid this person permanently.

An e-mail was sent to me, asking for an old family friend’s contact information. Simple enough. But then my relative-type person went on to bad mouth this person. To make disparaging, completely rude comments about her size. I ignored it and simply answered the question asked but I’m feeling I didn’t handle it well.

I’m not great with conflict and confrontations. I avoid. But you know what? I think Euripides got it right when he said, "One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” I guess I just have to take the bull by the horns and tell it like it is.

So how do you handle unpleasant people?
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  1. I usually write a "lettin' it all hang out" kind of email, read it to my husband...and then delete it and try to love them anyway... :( Probably not the best approach, but I HATE conflict!

  2. i think it's important to think before you speak. sometimes people catch us off-guard and it's okay to respond later. i would probably write the person a note unless you can talk face-to-face. sometimes a phone call is awkward and the person gets defensive. also you can write very carefully what you want to say. you can explain that you were surprised by what they said about the 3rd person and you want to address the "problem." then they can read the note and have time to reflect how they feel and how they want to respond. most often, things can be easily resolved. she will probably apologize and realize how inappropriate she was. then she won't do that again-at least not to you!!! :)

  3. i have a quote that i like:

    True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.
    Ben Johnson


So, what do you think?