You Need to Reveal Hurt Feelings

My friend of many years has done it again. Acted enraged when I said something which differed from her opinion. In this case it was about a film made by Robert Redford. She said the film was about human death. I said without having seen the film but knowing Redford as a great environmentalist, it probably was about the death of all of us, nature, animals, plants and humans.

She reacted to what I said as a gigantic error and perhaps it was. What disturbed me was her angry tone, her voice loud and sharp. No, she said, it was about human death. I didn’t know how to respond to her tone of angry dismissal. Do I sometimes do the same to her? Bad move on either side. I can’t go through life waiting for the next time that she dismisses my opinion with disdain. It is OK to disagree but not to hate your friend for what they say. The friendship will lose its “we’re together, relax and be yourself, I love you” tone…

This is the third time she spoke to me with great disgust. Why is she so furious? Does she feel that I by holding a different opinion have personally put her down? Friends need to differ and even to enjoy the rough spots which cause both to grow.

I don’t mind if she differs with me and hope to learn her point of view. It was her tone which  was like a sharp knife cutting through a piece of mellow cheese. It was cutting my tie to her. It was severing our friendship. Some, might say, forget it, all of us make mistakes. But there are different kinds of mistakes. A mistake which puts one above and the other below is not something to forget.

If she values what she calls her closest friendship, she must not forget that she is my friend. Some say that in a good relationship there are no fights. That is no longer so commonly believed. It takes courage to speak but only because you are afraid you will lose it all. But if mistreatment is part of the relationship, by letting it continue you have nothing to lose. Sure both can be wrong and both need to change. That usually is the case. You need to reveal when you feel mistreated, overlooked, dismissed and talk about it so that each of you can grow out of the revealed rough spot.

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