Tell Me How You Really Feel…

   

    What do you think your friends say to each other when you are not around?  I’m sure most of us would like to think that our friends have nothing but wonderful things to say about us when we are not within earshot.  Unfortunately, people are only human and it is quite possible that they feel more comfortable saying some of the things that they feel about us to others instead of to our faces.  Don’t put that face on, you know that the truth sometimes hurts.  Also, there are just certain things that you keep to yourself, even in the closest of friendships, for fear of hurting the other person’s feelings.  No matter how open minded you are, nobody likes to be criticized especially by those we care about the most.

    As I pondered over my original question I thought about what my friends would say about me to each other if I wasn’t around.  The first thing that crossed my mind is that these would have to be negative things because there is no difficulty in telling someone how great they are to them directly.  Obviously, this made this whole concept extremely difficult for me to grasp because it is inconceivable that anyone would have anything but wonderful things to say about me.  Okay, so maybe I’ve been sipping on that Kool-aid because we all know that nobody is perfect, even those of us who come close to perfection.

    I am the kind of person who will always tell you exactly how I feel, even if my thoughts or comments are not very well received.  Believe me, this has gotten me into my share of trouble over the years with many of my interpersonal relationships.  Apparently, people don’t always want to really know how you feel about them or about their lives.  This has never stopped me from voicing my opinions.  I’ve always said, “You might not always appreciate what I have to say but at least you will always know where you stand with me.”  Honestly, who wants to be surrounded by friends who will only tell you what you want and need to hear all of the time?   Unfortunately, since some people don’t always appreciate my candor, I’m sure that this would be one of the things that they would say about me when I am not around, that I am too outspoken. 

    The next “problem” that I have is that I always know exactly what I want, how I want it done, and when I want it done.  As a result of this, I may come across as being a little authoritative some of the time.  Once again, it’s not that I think that I am the boss or that I am in charge, it’s just that I don’t deal very well with uncertainty and procrastination.  I’m very much a go getter and I have very little patience for people who waste time figuring out what they want and waste even more time figuring out how to get it.  So when I see things lagging or when projects aren’t making enough progress in the right direction, I motivate albeit in a not so gentle fashion.

    Besides these two complaints, I would like to think that my friends would also say that I am a loyal friend who can be counted on to be there during good times and bad times.  Hopefully, they will always remember all of the times that I was on the other end of the phone line, at all hours of the night, to just listen.  As long as they still have some good things to say about me behind my back I can deal with any of the previous criticisms that I just mentioned.  You have to take the good with the bad in every situation.

    I think we all have to be realistic about human nature and realize that everyone talks about someone sometimes.  My personal philosophy  is that whatever I am saying about you is something I already told you to your face or will tell you to your face eventually. What do your friends say about you when you are not around?

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Desiree Torres says

    When I’m not around, I think my friends might say I am funny, a good listener, smart and talented. I teach, sing, write and compose music. My friends brag about me behind my back and I am always shocked yet pleasantly comforted in the knowledge that they believe in me. Now for the bad…lol

    They will say that I am very insecure about my looks and that I can be quite indecisive at times. They might also say that I am always running late. Of course, that has something to do with the first two issues. When you’re insecure and can’t decide on what to wear, hair, makeup etc. it takes longer than usual to get ready.

    Lastly, I don’t always pick up my phone. I enjoy real conversations and interacting in person better. My real friends know if they wanna enjoy me at my best they should let me know when to be somewhere to meet and hang, expect me there an hour late and say that I look great when they see me lol.

    I never hesitate to spent all night talking people through their tears, or driving them to the e.r. at 4 in the morning. I am the friend that warns you not to drink too much, takes a shot with you and holds your hair when you hurl. I am practical and sound-a voice of reason when you need it. I am also the friend that tells you when you’re wrong, but in the most gentle and loving way that you’ll swear you came to that conclusion yourself. That is me. Strengths and weaknesses. Warts and all. (Fyi, I had that frozen a while back.) I think that’s what my friends would say 🙂

    • Desiree, I love how you shared yourself with us in such an honest and refreshing way. I think our negative traits are deeply rooted in our childhoods and life experiences in general. It’s important that we are honest with ourselves about our good and our bad qualities so that we may have real and more meaningful interpersonal relationships. It is really good to see you here. I am sending you big hugs.

      • Desiree Torres says

        Thanks lady! I owe you an article. I forgot what to write about but if you remember let me know. Otherwise, when you need something done just tell me. I am all done with grad school and can focus again! 🙂

  2. meh what can ya do? right?

  3. We have a lot in common. I don’t have a lot of friends I talk to regularly. I’ve always been the kind to have a few VERY good friends than a bunch who were just fake.

    BUT, among those friends, I really think they would say that I am sincere, loyal and a good listener. But my kids are out of their minds!

    • Bella, lately I have been significantly trimming down my base of friends due to being disappointed with their level of sincerity and loyalty. You are right, the vast majority of people are fake and it is really important to keep a tight knit circle with just a few friends that you can really trust.

  4. Good post and good topic. Gossip is one of the worst things “we” do and something I believe we need to teach our children about. There’s a great book about it called, “Words That Hurt, Words That Heal,” by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

    He allowed me to use that title for an “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column I used on this same topic. One of his arguments is that gossip is like a leaf…once it is blown in the wind, it is impossible to retrieve. Therefore, in so many ways, it is more destructive than say, a slap or a punch!

    We see this everyday in the media and it’s dreadful.

    I wish I wasn’t guilty of ever gossiping, but as a parent I do try to remember that our kids see EVERYTHING we do!

    • Bruce, you make an excellent point about instilling good values in our children and teaching them how hurtful and destructive gossip can be to others. It is extremely important that we model not engaging in this type of behavior for our kids. I absolutely love Rabbi Telushkin’s comparison of gossip to a leaf that is impossible to retrieve once it blows away. There really is no way to mend the damage that gossip can inflict on the life of an individual. Thank you so much for sharing this profound and appropriate point of view regarding this issue.

  5. I’ve unfortunately grown apart from so many girlfriends – not because there’s been a falling out, but I just couldn’t be bothered will all the inter-back-talk between everyone. It was exhausting.

    • See, I have always been the opposite and had a lot of female friends all the time. However, as I am getting older it is getting harder and harder to maintain positive friendships with other females because there is always so much emotional baggage attached. You are right, now that I think about it, it is exhausting.

  6. Wow, Maria, I could copy and paste yours verbatim and think that’s what my friends would say about me! I am a definite driver which often comes across as authoritative and bossy. I try not to do it with friends, but I have very little patience for the I don’t know, what do you think? I don’t know you tell me… circular talk and so I jump in and make a decision.

    My friends would say I am almost always late, have a contagious laugh (loud), can hurt their feelings, but since they did ask for my opinion they can’t hold it against me, and that I will always tell them the truth. Want to know if that dress makes your butt look big? I will tell you. That isn’t always well received, but it is valued by my friends.

    They may say I can be negative (in my quest for being honest and forthright), and that I am loyal and supportive to balance it out.

    I have been very fortunate to have some amazing girl friends along the years. I love them for their strengths and accept their weaknesses as part of what makes them who they are. True friendship doesn’t lead to gossipping (in my opinion) – perhaps honest discussion of a friends strengths and weaknesses, but not malicious gossip. Acquaintances (sp?) is a different story. But getting to the point of friends means trusting those that you don’t know as well until you build some mutual trust, so… I’ll take the gossip for the treasure of the friends. Cheesy, right? 😉

    • Wow, Daria, if we were anymore alike, we would be twins. I will always give my honest opinion and have gotten into trouble doing so over the years. You are right, malicious gossip often comes from acquaintances that are not really friends. I have definitely learned to be less trusting over the years and to better filter out the undesireables. It’s not cheesy, I think we all put up with a certain degree of gossip from our friends if their overall values and sense of loyalty is where it should be.

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