Thursday, December 16, 2010

#reverb10: friendship

(what day 15 (5 minutes) was all about)

day 16 prompt ... How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
(Author: Martha Mihalick)

(my commitment to myself for stream-of-conscious writing ... excited to see what pops up as i type!)

(in 2007, a now ex-boyfriend, for whom i wrote a quick little story, my foreigner, completely changed my perspective on the world for which i am thankful, but i digress. glad this prompt reminded me of that moment.)

silver lining friendships preferred? ...

listen, and maybe that's all - or listen, then change the world ...
this is what i learned (and am learning or perhaps (re)learning) that has changed me AND my perspective on the world - my perspective on friendships (and relationships overall).

two bookends of the friendship spectrum ... for some (or many), just listening and that positivity-feedback-stuff, which was characterized to me as therapeutic coaching, is complete bullshit - while for others, friendships endure because of the round-robin-banter of silver-lining opportunities. two bookends and stuff between of the friendship-feedback spectrum, perhaps.
  • zip it ... some friendships are infused with ranting about shitty things happening to them, and that's it. the fluff, the pot of gold, the opportunity to change, ... all that - shut your trap. let the rant just be a rant and nothing more. just rants.
  • bring it on ... some friendships are infused with ranting about shitty things happening to them, and then the fluff-gold-change begins ... all that - go! let the rant become a distant memory, and let the change begin. all the raves.
  • zip & bring & zip & bring (rinse, repeat) ... then there are friendships very much in the mix & match of things. a few rants here and a few raves there.
- was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?.

kick in the gut, sudden burst ... the change was a sudden burst that continues to have an interesting unfolding. during a recent dinner (sharing over here, if anyone wants to check it out), i changed my perspective about who i am as friend, how better to communicate, and the relationships i keep.

back story ... after my friend was sharing, through her stream of tears, about some not-so-pleasant experiences about her work, i started asking questions about whether she is comfortable with xyz, what does she want for abc, blah-blah-dee-blah. immediately, she told me she did not want that therapeutic coaching stuff (my first time hearing that term). she was simply pissed. my waterworks began. i couldn't understand. this seemed no different than any other conversation between the two of us.

ranting about me to me ... we continued the conversation beyond the rant. she shared her experiences that i always jump in to start coaching with the positivity-stuff when all she wants is for me just to listen. nothing more. sometimes, people need to rant, and she's right. more so after that, she continued with a short laundry list of more experiences, how i was wrong about some, how i need to do stuff ...

spewing silver linings - thumbs up or down? ... i realized, while she was ranting about me TO me, our friendship was something different than i had thought. she was right; i have quite the tendency to do what i have come to learn are the activities around therapeutic coaching. and she was right - i jump in; i see something in my head for that person and feel like i need to capture it by verbalizing it right then and there. and she was right - that positivity-bullshit is what i spew - suggesting silver linings to those difficult times in life.

i have been changed ... i get that i have this silver-lining thing, and i get that it is annoying for some. i ponder HOW do i continue engaging with people who get annoyed by silver-lining and WHETHER i want to continue engaging with those annoyed. a mix of friends is great. ranters, ravers, ranty-ravers, ravy-ranters. all good. i do not know yet (or maybe i do, already) where i'm going with this, meanwhile, this experience continues to teach me three things that i have been putting into play ...
  • click-it ... when i have an image or feeling in my head, capture it. record that image or feeling, and hold it at bay.
  • pause button ... when i have an urge to verbalize, patience. push that pause button.
  • check-in ... when i am wanting to share the click-it and want to un-pause, ask permission from my friend, or just check-in with myself.
i am still a work-in-progress ...

(thanks for letting me share your time!)


  1. I, like you, am always a "the glass is half full" girl! As difficult as it is for my friends to have a "silver lining" friend it is equally difficult for me to have a "glass is half empty" friend. YOU?

  2. jenm ... i'm with you. and i likes me my glass over-flowing to be able to share with others! being around half-empty is tough - and whether friend or co-worker. and i guess from this post, i realize i do have something inherently good to give with silver-lining ... perhaps i am learning some people are better receivers than others?


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