I’m not an overbearing friend, full of unsolicited opinions. I used to be, but I’m not anymore. I now know that as an adult, I make my own decisions. I may take other people’s opinions into consideration, but ultimately I do what I want to do. My friends are the same. So at what point do I attempt to interfere with their adult nature and tell them what they should do in their relationships for their own benefit and happiness? It’s a fine line, one you should tread lightly if you want them to continue coming back to you to talk and being your friend, but there are times when it needs to be done and certain things need to be said.
I can stay out of my friends’ business when it does not interfere with their sanity. For instance, we all make mistakes, stupid ones at times, as growing women. It’s a part of life and almost inevitable, but when your mistakes start making you crazy and irresponsible to the point where you can lose your job or your mind, someone who loves you should intervene.
I’ve had girlfriends who have talked to me about situations I felt were beneath them. Arguing in the club, social networking beefs and more.
Still I listened. They’ve told me about men I knew were no good for them and why they stick around. Again, I listened. But when they call me distraught, hopeless, or in trouble as a result of their mistakes and the men in their lives, I can’t help but to speak. Then, it’s time for my opinion.
Still, there is a way to insert your opinions into someone else’s situation when it’s necessary without doing too much. Do it without being condescending. No one wants to hear how irresponsible or ‘stupid’ they have been. We are all one decision away from being stupid. So while you may feel that your friend is acting like a character out of a Terry McMillan book, love her and be there for her anyway.
Everyone has a different approach to friendships because all friendships are different. What I have learned is that your opinion, as awesome as it may sound in your head, should not always be expressed to your friend. Not to get too biblical, but a person should ultimately be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” This is especially true in friendships. Before offering advice to someone constantly involved in triangles and drama, listen to what your friend has to say and give your opinion only when asked or when you feel it’s necessary. Then, make sure she ultimately knows that you are there for her.
Again, what works for one friendship doesn’t necessarily work for all. This is my approach to friendships, only because my unsolicited opinions have gotten me in trouble more than a few times.
Ladies, when do you think it’s okay, or even necessary, to intervene in your friends’ relationships? What’s been your experience?