Chapter 4: When you and your BFF disagree
In this chapter we see that Train wants to accompany Meylyne on her dangerous journey. This is what best friends do, right? We stick by each other. Sometimes it’s as if we have one mind—we agree on everything.
Well, not really. But that’s what’s expected of us. So what happens if your best friend wants you to stick by her and you don’t agree with her? Most likely you feel pressured to support her anyway. I used to have a very sensitive best friend that was easily offended and she would get mad at people a lot. She always expected me to fight her battles with her—to shut people out if she was angry with them and so on. Given the perception that “best friends always agree” her expectation isn’t out of the ordinary. It is unrealistic. I didn’t always agree with her but did I say so?
No. I was afraid she would leave me if I did.
And ultimately our friendship did end. Fear and resentment grew on both sides and we blamed each other for how bad we felt. Made each other into monsters by focusing on the negative aspects of our relationship instead of the positive.
In hindsight, I wish I’d been more honest. Things might have ended differently if I had told her how I felt. Yes, she would have been mad at me but that would not have been the end of the world. Best friends are going to be mad at each other from time to time. Mad does not have to mean abandonment. A good friend will always allow you to have your own opinion, no matter how badly she wants you to agree with her. By trying to avoid an argument, I missed an opportunity to deepen our friendship. Anyone can be in a superficial relationship in which you agree all the time—it’s how you handle your disagreements that sets your relationships apart. And don’t forget, disagreements don’t have to be arguments. We don’t have to get stuck in our need to be “right.” I never had to say, “I disagree with how you feel about so and so. I could have said, “I see that situation differently and I feel anxious about telling you because I don’t want to make you mad.”
Can you see how that’s a much more honest conversation? Maybe she wouldn’t have been mad at me for having a different opinion to hers—she probably just didn’t want to feel judged by me. Sensitive people are often told that are “wrong” for feeling something that others don’t feel.
What about you? Have you ever felt unrealistic expectations from your best friend? Or maybe you’ve felt it from the other side—insecure about your feelings and needing your BFF to support you wholeheartedly? Maybe it’s going on right now. Tell me about it!
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