The Writer
Bunny Byrne

It's all I can do to make it to the next party...

On Being Nice

Posted By on February 2, 2012 in Blog, Chatter | 3 comments

On Being Nice

Whether you live far away from your family or just aren’t that close, there are many reasons to resort to good old fashioned friendship to fill the void. We want to connect with people, share experiences, triumphs and hardships and feel as though someone cares, and that we care for someone. I’m one of those souls whose friends are like family.

Perhaps because I live in a small town, I’ve come to some conclusions earlier than I would have otherwise. I do think small towns make you nicer, more concerned with the welfare and feelings of others. It also makes you acutely aware of your shortcomings. Most people don’t assume they’re ever a topic of conversation, but, rest assured, someone is talking about all of us.

And I think mostly it doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s better to be honest and upfront when you have an issue with someone. But just your opinion of someone in general? Maybe it’s not so important. So what if someone says you’re always late, you talk too much, or worse. Perhaps your friends are too kind to mention your imperfections to you, though in some cases it might be kinder to do so. That’s particularly of importance if the non-mentioning party changes their behavior toward you – then you need to talk. But if they still love you? Just as you are? Maybe it’s really ok if they call you a bitch behind your back. I have some bitchy friends and I love them that way. Insensitive is different. Narcissistic is different. Rage-aholic is different. Bitchy is kinda fun. I also have some flaky friends – you just have to manage your expectations and love them as they are. They’re some of my most cherished relationships and they tend to brighten my life when I need it most. I’m just not going to call them when I’m counting on a lunch date.

I also think you shouldn’t judge people by what they say when you’re not around. If you’re not in the room, you can’t know what they said, what they meant, the inflection they used, the context in which it was said. If you’re getting it second hand, the information is filtered through perception and prejudice, not to mention the possibility of outright misunderstanding.

I’m deciding to let all of that go and to focus on how the person makes me feel when I’m with them. Are they uplifting, interesting or entertaining? Or maybe caring, supportive or exciting? Do you learn from them, or teach them? There are lots of great relationships to be had out there, people are all just so different.

I like to collect friends. Old, young, white, Hispanic, former lesbian, professional, shrink, artist, housewife, entrepreneur, construction worker – just any ol’ body with a story.

Here are some of my thoughts on friendships:

–It’s easier to forgive than to hold a grudge. How many people rearrange their whole lives to enforce a grudge? Silly.

–Don’t believe everything you hear. Unless you hear it from the source, don’t hold it against them.

–If things are getting sticky, take a step back. Just give a little space, you can rekindle the relationship if it’s a good one.

–No one’s perfect, least of all me! My friends put up with my quirks, so I can put up with theirs. {Ever try to get me to go out last minute? Futile. Ever try to call me on the phone? Equally futile.}

–Be the best version of yourself – and that includes being gracious to everyone. If they still don’t like you that might just be okay. You’re the best you there is.

3 Comments

  1. Gina Curry August 10, 2012

    I second these thoughts! Your words are like little gifts.

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