In the course of our lives, we have many relationships. For today’s musings, I would like to discuss how to deal with unbearable people, especially dealing with difficult friends.
All of my stories come from my past and present experiences. Here is the latest one…
I was in line at Starbucks waiting to purchase my latte, with my pooch Orchid, and overheard two women discussing what sounded like an unbearable friend. They said they could no longer tolerate her behavior. They were aggravated and angry. They were quite intolerant. They were two against one! They were gossiping up a storm. The line was long so I heard most of the story.
This is my feeling on the topic: If my close friend has a tendency to be unbearable and I notice she is getting worse and it’s affecting me, I still can’t abandon her. She is my friend. I will verbalize my unhappiness by telling her, as kindly as possible, that I can’t stand her actions. I will offer her my help and suggest she get outside help. I believe in Karma, dear friends, “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, is viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.”
I also believe in ‘delete.’ I am not adverse to moving on. If the friend is an acquaintance, I would delete her from my life. I would not put any energy into the relationship. Period.
Now, back to the line at Starbucks, dear readers.
They carried on and on and I knew by their conversation they had not communicated their feelings to their friend. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I assumed they did not know how to broach the subject.
As I walked home with Orchid I thought about you, dear readers, who may be involved in similar sticky situations with often critical or overly boastful or selfish or rude or unkind friends. I don’t know how you define unbearable but that is my definition.
So what to do?
Dealing with difficult friends
Remember, “for every action there is a reaction.’ Before you can react to her actions, and you are going to, you have to try and figure out why your friend has become unbearable or more unbearable than usual. That means: Have a conversation!
This would be my plan:
1. Make a personal phone call. Invite her to lunch. Pick a comfortable setting like a cozy restaurant. This is serious time. This should not be done over the phone or in an email. After all, your friend is in need.
2. Prepare yourself for the conversation. Has something happened in her life? Does she need counseling? Have a few resources for her to investigate. Or, was she always somewhat intolerable and you were blindsided because she has so many great qualities? Have answers in your mind.
3. Be tolerant. Be kind. Be a friend. Be prepared to be met with anger.
4. Know that you are doing the right thing. If she rejects you, this isn’t about you. Persist.
I am not currently dealing with difficult friends. But, if I was, I would try what I suggested. As I always said to my grandchildren when they were small…Try. Try. Try.