Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mars and Venus II

So this is the sequel to my last post.

As I mentioned, I had a lot of thoughts swirling around my head after Adam and Britt's show last week (btw, new show tonight everyone!)

So I'm done with the man-bashing, and am moving onto friendship (bashing?).

Question # 2:
How close/honest/blunt is too much? When, in a friendship, do we begin to disregard the feelings of others simply because we feel comfortable with them? And is this a privilege or a flaw in relationships?

And in the spirit of leaving Britt and Adam alone, why don't I use an example from my own life for once?

My Dear Anon: she is the easiest person to use for this one. And for the sake of my ridiculously G-rated blog, I'll go with a pretty mild example.

She is, without a doubt, the friend that I am the most blunt and honest with. And it works for us 99.9% of the time. Take her comment in my last post, she's upset that I saw "Push"without her. She called me a "wanker." (As an aside, I've learned that "wanking" means masturbation in England - do you think MDA was calling me a "masturbator?" It seems a bit inappropriate and completely unrelated to the post topic...)

Am I hurt that she called me a name? No.
Am I upset that she's apparently bent out of shape that I went to a movie without her? Nah.

But...if that comment had come from someone else? Maybe I would be both hurt and concerned.
However, it's MDA. I can interrupt her mid-story to tell her that the tale she's in the midst of regaling me with is both boring and I don't care. She can sigh and push the album away halfway thorough my trip to Europe photos because she's not interested in seeing them anymore.

Neither of us are hurt by this. (Though someone might argue that the fact that I remember she did that with my Europe photos 13 years ago might imply that I'm holding a grudge).

However, how much of this is too much? How many stories can I interrupt before she only laughs on the outside at my gall, and starts seething on the inside? Or even worse, gets truly hurt on the inside?

How does one know when to stop with this behaviour? And why should they? If I'm cool with it every time she pushes away my vacation photos - why would she ever stop?

Now one could argue that if you're truly good friends, then you should be able to tell the person that you've become hurt by this, and maybe they could take a hiatus from behaviour x.

But by then the damage has been done. I've already learned that she hates hearing about my holidays. She knows that I don't want to hear about her Zelda escapades. And what's to prevent a person from taking that a bit further in their heads? Maybe it's not just my holidays that MDA doesn't want to hear about. Maybe she hates hearing about my job too. Maybe I should just talking so much period.

So my question is this: yes, it's lovely that when you reach a certain level of friendship with a person that you feel comfortable enough to be brutally honest and harsh- but should we be?

Does it make us lazy as friends? We stop having quite as much consideration for their feelings because they should just know how we mean it. They should just know what's going on in our heads.

Is it OK to be what essentially can only be defined as "rude"?

Why is it OK to do that to the friends that are the closest to us in the world, but not to an acquaintence?

Is this a privilege of close friendship, or is it a flaw?

Discuss.

12 comments:

PinkPiddyPaws said...

Tough call babe. Kind of like -- You know the guy your best friend loves is a jackass but do you tell her? It never goes well for you OR her if you do tell and if you wait then she's mad because you didn't tell her when he breaks her heart. ugh.....

Wait.. what were we discussing again? :)

Miss Britt said...

It is definitely a fine line.

I think what really makes someone a close friend is if one of you DOES cross the line, will one of you say "oh - woah - too far" and, more importantly, will the other one apologize?

Princess of the Universe said...

PPP- Ugh, in that situation there is just no right answer, I agree!

Britt- you're right, one would hope that if you're that close, you're able to express it if you're hurt, and for the person to be genuinely contrite.

Alice said...

Wow...I have never thought of it like that. Great now you are making we question some of my friendships with ladies that I consider my best friends.

Nat said...

I think it depends. I love friendships that are honest fun and easy going but totally honest. I like my friends to be able to say "Nat, you're out of line here." Or to look at me and explain what it is I am apparently missing.

When it gets mean, that's when you cross the line -- out of love and fun... well that's ok.

PinkPiddyPaws -- I told her. She married him anyway. She dumped me. Best thing that ever happened. As it turns out, I couldn't be honest with her.

Chief Rock Chef said...

I think it is something that I vary according to the good at the moment. I know when my friends are in the mood to take this sort of thing and when they aren't.

If I was going to call my best friend a wanker I would have to pick my timing very carefully!

You also have to be careful not to become one of those idiots who throws insults around in the name of "humour", seemingly ignorant of the hurt they are causing! With each friend there are bound to be topics that you just don't joke about, total no-go areas.

Great post, Princess!

Glamourpuss said...

Personally, I think the same ease that lets you tell your closest friends to stop boring the tits off you lets you tell them when they've hurt your feelings. If a friendship is worth saving, it will always survive - something I've certainly learned over the last year.

Puss
(Sorry I've been away so long)

server extraordanare said...

you inspired me to ramble out a post...

server extraordanare said...

oh yeah and if I knew how to link you I so would have

Hetshetsit said...

Nat: my friend told me she hated my BF. Now we're married and we're not friends. She was rude to him and he's a good guy so...

and Princess: wanker=jerk

James said...

I have never had that sort of relationship with another guy. Men generally don't.
No wait yes I did, I remember now it was with my best friend but he has been dead now for many years.
I did know that I hurt him once very badly and didn't know how to get back to where we were.

I guess a close friendship is a bit like a love relationship, it is a balance between relaxing and being yourself and thinking about their feelings.

James said...

Oh Yeah to wank in English usage is to masturbate.
ergo Wanker...one who prefers that to the real thing.

 
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