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?