There are two types of people. People who tell their friends about their problems and people who remain so mysterious about it that they start pissing you off.
It’s nobody’s fault if they choose to keep their problems shut off from the rest of the world. There is a fine line between loving your privacy and alienating the people who generally care about you. It’s like a secret group that you’re not allowed to join. It sucks to be left out.
The degree of each person’s problem differs from the other. When a friend shares his problem with you, you give him your utmost attention and purse your lips sympathetically at the right moments, nod your heads and throw in a few mmmm-mmms just to show how much you understand him. It’s not an act actually, you’re being a very good listener and everyone loves having a good listener.
Problems could come in a variety of forms from a death in the family to breakups to trivial things between classmates/housemates. Do you judge your friends on the reactions that they give you when you confide in them? A death is a death. So you broke up, life goes on. Some of them take it as part and parcel of life and just expect you to move on as if nothing ever happened. Because they don’t feel the effect, it’s probably not that big a deal for you as well.
Sure, words of comfort might pour in when your tragedy has been made known to friends far and wide. Some friends prefer not to get involved for fear of evoking more emotions in you. Is that really the makings of a good friend? To stay away from comforting a person who needs comforting the most?
You might not know what to say to a person who is going through a difficult period and so you choose not to say anything at all. This actually hurts the person more because she feels that no one really understands. She might not look like she wants to talk about her problem but it would help a tiny bit when someone gives a concerned gesture.
What are you supposed to say to a friend who is desperately grabbing onto a fleeting life of a beloved one? Do you sugarcoat your words and say that everything will be all right in the end? Can you allow yourself to spurt cliche lines after cliche lines and knowing clearly well that there is a chance that a happy ending might not happen? Are you even doing your friend a favour by telling her things that you expect a person would want to hear?
How can you say it’s okay when you’ve never been through it yourself?
Some friends will never have the courage to sit down and watch you cry.
The moment you open your mouth to spill your heart, your eyes fill up and your voice breaks – anyone would feel this natural instinct to mother you but not everyone would dare to do it. it gets awkward when a person cries. Ever notice how guy friends fall silent when you (since I’m a girl, I’ll assume that the reader is a girl) start crying? Heck, even I become silent if a friend should start crying but of course, my shoulders are always there for any of you. I do panic though when a friend cries. It’s like trying to hold up a toppling vase in vain.
There are also people who would tell the world about their problems. Like bumble bees they would fleet from flower to flower, spilling their woes as they go. I believe I am such a person. People like me just like to talk. We crave for opinions and sometimes, admittedly, prefer that the opinions are on our side. But how many times is too many? Would friends not get sick of hearing the same issue over and over?
After watching so many episodes of Sex And the City, I realised that Carrie will always have a problem that is bugging her. When the four girls talk, no matter who is talking about another problem, she will divert the attention back to her problem. She will find a way to butt in and make the lime light shine back on her. Months later, she will still be talking about the same problem over and over again.
I, for one, am no Carrie Bradshaw.
My weakness is this mouth of mine but I believe I have learned enough lessons to talk less of problems that do not belong to me.
Unlike Carrie, I don’t think that the world revolves around me. I would not repeat my problems to my friends unless they ask or if something new crops up that seriously pisses me off.
That being said, exactly what is the limit of times one can give re-runs of their problems to their friends?
3 thoughts on “When You Have A Problem”
I personally think that telling your friends your problems is understandable and perhaps, should be encouraged. But when its the same problem over and over again, as a friend, you need to give them a slap across the back of the head and tell them to get over it (figuratively and sometimes, literally). If they just want to moan about it, then that’s fine. But you don’t need to be unwilling victim to their woes.
Remember, nobody likes pity parties. Nobody likes going to them and those who do don’t bring presents.
jo: haha yeah, we all like people who can take charge of their lives right?:) lol but what a way to put it!
It depends on how close you are to that friend but continuous reruns will test even the patience of a monk. Luckily, I’ve never been subjected to that. Oh wait, lately I have been. She’s not a friend per se, not a girlfriend either, somewhere in the middle, I guess. I’ve been listening to her problems and advising her about what to do, or at least, what I would do in her situation.
As Paul said, no one likes pity parties. I found myself getting a little irritated the other day. I don’t share my problems much, preferring to keep it to myself, except to a few friends and I usually just say it once or twice.
You don’t need to put up with it though, some people are just born whingers. 😉
jo: ahhh… looks like u have a case of masuk satu telinga, keluar telinga lain. 🙂
good lah..but if friends ask, i think it’s good to share..:)
nah..this is not totaly a personal experience!:)
I suspect that the main purpose of this entry is to vent some frustration, but i will say that it is very very well written. Loved it, completely enthralling. Yeah, i know those are adjectives used to describe novels and movies and erotica, but they apply here too.
“Itâ€™s like trying to hold up a toppling vase in vain.”
jo: YEE WEIIiiI!! 😀 not really lah, it’s to see if i still got the juice to flow with the thoughts. Hahaha. Barely managing but thank you for the compliments. 🙂 hahaha.. u know like the “oh nononononnoooo feeling?” yeah, that’s what i meant. 🙂