A Thought...and some

"Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren't inherently bad people, but they aren't the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your well-being a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself."

I am a total believer in the message above. I don't care who it is, if it's cutting into your happy, then cut it. But the message didn't strike a chord with me because of that. It struck a chord because I recognize that I could fit the description of the person causing the unhappy. I'll explain. See, I am a "unique" communicator, for lack of a better word. I get so many complaints about it. I don't like small talk or fluff or beating around the bush, I'd rather get straight to the point. Someone once told me that I start bbm conversations with her from the middle instead of the beginning. Another person has told me that I am pretty black and white with no grey area (this one i disagree with but everyone has their opinion). I guess my dislike of fluff makes my answers short/curt and i get complaints that I don't go into detail and it comes across as being difficult/rude, i think i got shady once sef. My biggest one is I am kind of a sucker for consistency and still haven't gotten it through my thick skull that people have a right to change their minds. Anyways, when I am in a convo with someone and we are discussing things, I bring up facts or a point of view based on what they have told me or what I know of them or I ask questions for clarity, in most cases where the view point has changed (and I am unaware of it), it comes across like I am being judgmental (and perhaps I am in some cases) which in turn makes the person defensive and the conversation completely takes a left turn. When I am conscious of repeat cases where this happens, or if I feel we just don't see things the same.I usually remove myself from the situation (based on an assumption and usually without notifying the person) and distance myself a little or censor myself because I don't want to be that person making someone feel like shit. In my head, its just better and safer.

I came across this blogpost by Ada that says you don't have to like someone to love the person. I am still not all the way sold on that logic but I did like the entire post. It says it is our spiritual duty to just love our neighbor, whether or not we agree with their life decisions or not. It made me question my habit of withdrawing and being censored, is that wrong? I shared the post with a friend of mine and she said she didn't think it was wrong and maybe distancing myself is my way of showing love for the betterment of myself and the other party. I told myself this year to try harder in remembering that I am just a friend and not a parent. I don't know man, arent you supposed to be honest with your friends? Where is the line between being honest and bringing your friends down unintentionally? Are you doing them a disservice being quiet?

Anyhue, I hope this made sense cuz it really was just one long drawn out thought as the title suggests. Happy Hump Day and have a lovely rest of the week!


leggy said…
i'm definitely a vocal person. i like people telling me how they feel explicitly, when i tell someone something, i love feedback, negative or positive. i hate when i say something that a friend doesn't agree with and they just say "okay", instead of telling me exactly how they feel.
i rarely get mad at my friends and i feel like they've known me long enough to know this, i'd rather you talk your mind now than give me all that passive aggression later.
mizchif said…
Lemme start by saying that i enjoy our BBM conversations. I'm not big on fluff, the beginning of a convo for me is the issue i want to discuss.

Now it has always been my policy to try and mind my buisness for the most part. I have a few friends i do the whole complete honesty thing with but i've had a situation where something i said in one of my moments of honesty kept coming up so now i know to somewhat filter my honesty.
Complete honesty is now reserved for my blood sister.

I do believe though that friends are supposed to be honest with each other. Like why are we friends if i can't be real with you. I appreciate honesty. I may not like what you tell me, but i'm grateful for your honesty.

Ada said…
I love that you brought this up, Taynement. (and thank you for referencing my post!/:) My belief remains the same that you don't have to like someone to love them and I want to clarify a few things with that.

1. You most definitely can love people from afar. If you are around someone that consistently upsets you, hurts you, and seems to mainly breed negativity then you have every right not to spend a lot of time around them. Like your friend said, I believe that sometimes distancing yourself from someone is the best way to show love because you protect yourself from the toxicity and you also avoid instances of judging and condemning the person. Loving them doesn't have to mean being around them. My thing is when you are around them, you don't have to be mean or rude because you don't like them. And when you aren't around them, you don't have to spend time thinking negatively about them or gossiping about them.

2. I believe 100% that you should be honest with your friends. I also believe 100% that most friends do not want your full honesty. Of course they will say they do, but then you give them a dose of your honest opinion and you become "enemy #1". It shouldn't stop you though because the ones who are really interested in your friendship and are willing to receive your honesty with appreciation will remain when most have weeded themselves out. (we just have to be okay with the fact that some will leave because of it.)

Also, I think people
continuously confuse "criticism" with "honesty". For example, talking to your friend about a lie she told can go two ways: 1 - "You are such a damn liar! My goodness, you will die with those lies of yours!" 2 - "Ngo, I found out that you lied to me last week about that event you said you weren't going to and I really didn't like it. I thought we were better friends than that; you don't have to lie to me just because you were afraid to upset me. If we're going to be friends we have to be able to tell each other the truth. Next time, tell me what it is even if it might upset me. You're my friend, so I will eventually get over it."

Both have claims of honesty except the first one is criticizing and belittling the person (which rarely ever makes a positive impact on the person) while the second one is stating the truth and correcting the person in a loving, friendly way.
neuyogi said…
Hi Tayney,

This is an interesting post. I like the very last paragraph of Ada's comment. There are so many things we call "honesty" "being real" etc while forgetting things like criticism, sensitivity, and tact. I like my friends being honest with me but i also don't like to feel judged by them. I feel what makes friendship friendship is that when you click with someone they understand you and you understand them so those judgment periods are few and far between if they ever happen. I also feel people that don't fundamentally click sometimes cling to friendships that end up becoming forced or stilted. I can only speak from my experience as a friend who has been tactless to others yet forgiven because i feel we just click, and also been in a position where I have had to apologize for my insensitivity. I don't know maybe if you give examples of real life scenarios it might help us better understand where you are coming from. pls excuse any typos, lazy to go review my long assed comment

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