Thursday, July 07, 2011

Link Thursday: What Your Best Friend Won't Tell You

Hey peeps!

Back from Zombie-land today, finally! My insomnia had kicked in big time, and let me tell you this - it's impossible to function without sleep! Coffee helps, but nothing quite does the trick for your mind and body - and sanity! - like a few hours of night-time snoozing.

So, today's Thursday so it's Link post day. Browsing through my folders, I found this link, and it seemed quite fitting to me. This past week I reconnected with two of my besties - and these girls and I go back to our school years! We were scattered on three different continents (okay, yes, technically, I'm on an island, but you get the drift!) and now one of them's back home, and the other who has recently gotten married has just told us she's making aunties out of us. :) Great news for me, on both counts.

Where would a gal be without her BFF/s? Nowhere, really. These girls are your sanity, your saviours for every little or big crisis, the shoulders you cry on when your heart is broken, the ones who dish out the chocolate and the ice cream when the going gets tough or just because.

But even despite how close you are to your gals, there are some things she won't tell you. Maybe not to hurt your feelings, or maybe because she knows that what she'd say would cause more harm than good. Look at it any way you want, there's bound to be some things unspoken between you.

Take a look at the article. Great pointers for what your RL BFF might not be telling you, and perfect material to use to help your heroine see the light in your books. See also what the experts advise doing, especially if you're the BFF with things to 'hide'.
The article is from Glo, and you can catch it here.

*****

What your best friend won't tell you: BFF Confidential

By Woman's Day

Whether your best pal complains about work or her husband, chances are you've kept mum. "Women tend to feel responsible for their friends' feelings," says therapist Julie Hanks, "so we keep our mouths shut to prevent jeopardizing the friendship." Here, women share what they’ve never told their BFFs, and experts advise on when to stay quiet.

The Secret: "I don't like your boyfriend."
"My best friend is in a toxic relationship. It's the same story over and over: He gets drunk, they have a fight and she 'kicks him out.' But then he apologizes, and she forgives him. I want to tell her he's bad for her, but I know she won't listen; she's afraid this guy is her last chance to have a child," says Danette.

The Experts Say
If it's not a matter of a cheater, abuser or toxic situation, and you just don't like the guy for superficial reasons, grin and bear it. Says Hanks, "If she's chosen him, and you've chosen to remain friends with her, then nothing good comes of letting her know you just don't like him.” Instead, avoid spending time with them as a couple, while always leaving the door open for her to talk if the relationship does turn dangerous.

The Secret: "I can't believe you never gave me a wedding present."
When Karen* got married two years ago, she was shocked that one of her closest friends didn't bring a gift—and still hasn't made good. "It leaves me reeling every time I think of it. I'd never dare say anything because, well, don't I sound a bit petty?” [*Some names have been changed.]

The Experts Say
The present is probably something you can let go, advises Hanks, "because you can choose to believe that your friend truly cares about you, and that maybe she forgot or feels embarrassed about it." But if it's an ongoing situation, such as your friend not calling, then you can say something like "It makes me feel like you don't care about our friendship, because I'm always the one calling you."

The Secret: "You never want to talk about our issues."
"One of my best friends is incredibly smart and my go-to person for advice. We share all the good and bad stuff about our lives, but never address any kinks in our friendship, so our relationship feels somehow incomplete and not fully realized,” says Lori.*

The Experts Say
"If your friend can't be relied on for the level of friendship you want, you can end up feeling like you're not being heard," says Doree Lewak, author of The Panic Years. "This is worth addressing—otherwise, what's the foundation of the friendship?" It's fine to have friends on different levels; you may just have to manage your expectations.

The Secret: "Your husband hit on me."
"I never told my best friend that her then-boyfriend, now husband, hit on me," says Shelley.* "She was so madly in love with him that I couldn't bring myself to hurt her by telling her. I figured she'd catch on by herself that he was no good—but she ended up marrying him."

The Experts Say
Though the ship has sailed in Shelley's case, if you know for a fact that a friend's boyfriend or husband is a cheater, you should absolutely tell her. But speak carefully. Hanks suggests trying this: "Something happened that I'm really uncomfortable with, and as your friend I want you to know." That's different from "Hey, your boyfriend is a big jerk!"

The Secret: "Your children drive me crazy!"
"I love my best friend dearly—but her kid? I can't stand him! He's my son's age, but he has no respect for adults, and I find him unpleasant to be around," says Lisa.*

The Experts Say
What children can do to a friendship is similar to what a husband or boyfriend can do: Personality conflicts can drive a wedge between friends, says Lewak. "If this is a close friend, address it, but use empathy," adds Hanks. Try this: "I want to share my concern that when Joe is here, he's doing [XYZ]. Mom to mom, I want to let you know, and I hope that if my Susie is like that at your house, you'd tell me."

The Secret: "You complain, but then you don't take my advice."
"My friend complains all the time about her work life. She's had five jobs in four years, and they're never right. I stopped trying to give her advice because she never takes it, and I don't want to waste my breath anymore," says Sandra.*

The Experts Say
Having a friend continually dump unhappiness on you can be exhausting. If you value the friendship, then "ask her what she wants when she shares her complaints," suggests Hanks. Say something like, "I know this job stress has been going on for years. I've tried to [help] but I don't feel like I'm giving you what you need. What might help?'" If she just wants a quiet sounding board, set boundaries so you don't feel drained.

The Secret: "You don't lean on me."
"I met my best friend in college. We talk at least twice a week and get together whenever we can. But one thing that hurts me is that she doesn't tell me when something really important is going on in her life. She bought a house, but didn't tell me she was looking. She was very ill and I didn't know until I called and her husband told me. I wish she leaned on me for support," says Mary.*

The Experts Say
Sounds like Mary's friend finds support elsewhere—and it may not occur to her that Mary feels hurt about being left out of the loop, says Hanks. "Tell her how you feel: 'I'd love to know more about what's going on in your life, even if it's hard. I really care about you and I want to be supportive, especially during the difficult times.'"

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

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