Anytime you have someone who you care about it is soooo difficult to watch them suffer through bad decisions. You feel like you just want to shake them and slap some sense into them. We watch friends squander away opportunities at work and in school and wonder what is driving their decisions. We watch them make careless decisions with the way they spend money and we almost feel so strongly about it that you would think it was your money that your friend was blowing away. But nothing seems to affect us more than watching loved ones make bad decisions and suffer through draining relationships. It enrages us. We get chippy with our loved ones and down right nasty with their “not so special someone“. All because we care. But caring is no excuse for not being able to control yourself.
It’s hard to have someone you are close to, partner up with someone who you think is a dirtball. Or an idiot. Or a jackass. Or any other nasty name we can come up with to describe the people who just flat-out aren’t good enough to be with our friends and family. And the fact that you actually are close to people, sometimes you have unrealistic expectations for the person that they are with. We expect our little brothers and sisters, BFF’s, favorite uncle’s, Best Bros to end up with someone who is a hybrid of Jesus and Cinderella. A person with a perfect spirit and an adoring sense of humility. But truthfully, who really has that…….besides ME? (Just Kidding….sort of) So as a result we heap these unrealistic standards on the people who our loved ones date. I have seen people nit pick over the smallest things as a reason to dismiss someone. She went to school where? His parents do what? He has how many toes? All the while never considering that the person is not dating you , but someone else!
However, there are those cases where critical analysis and downright belligerent resistance is warranted. No one wants to see Rush Limbaugh end up with Jennifer Anniston. Just like we don’t want to see Rihanna with R. Kelly. We sometimes think that someone is too good for certain people. And at the risk of sounding judgemental, that’s just sometimes the truth. I would never want to see one of my friends who is kind-hearted, smart, good-looking, honest and faithful to end up with someone who totally does not complement there best qualities. I don’t want them to be with someone who is mean-spirited, dense, ugly on the inside and outside and a liar. Those are the type of people who wind up taking advantage of folks and do nothing to feed their growth and happiness. I think everyone who sees this gets overwhelmed with disgust, that turns into rage and then eventually borderline hate for the person that you deem as not worthy of your loved ones company. And some of you crazy people will skip all that and go right for the hate! And then there is the dynamic of having your close friends and family connect with someone who you personally just don’t get along with. And more than you being concerned with how they relate as a couple, we get more concerned about the aspect of how much less you are going to be able to hang around your friend when they are dating someone who you can’t stand.(That’s not entirely selfish is it?) All this disturbance to our selfish comfort zones sends us into a frenzy! And most times people handle the situation in the most selfish and immature ways because we can’t keep our emotions in check.
On the rare occasions that I have felt compelled to tell someone, I don’t like who they are dating, I have tried to do so in a manner that does not put them off and allows them to see my concerns in a way that will resonate with them. Help them to see my point of view. But some people have no tact and even less class. You can’t bombard your friends with criticisms of the person that they care about and expect them to not take offense. Because they should! If my girlfriend’s BFF came to her with a profanity laced tirade about how I am not good enough for her and pulling out every single deficiency that I have as a way to denigrate my identity then I would fully expect her to defend me. And realistically I am completely understanding of her friends expressing any concerns that they have about my character, future or compatibility with her. That’s what friends do. But assholes……they do so much more. Assholes get pissed off and offended when friends don’t share their perspective or accept their opinion as their own. So what do they do? They act like little brats and throw temper tantrums. Every good friend should have the latitude to speak their mind once….and set their concerns out on the table. But no one wants to hear you griping and complaining about your friends companion every time their name comes up. “Are you still going out with him?” “Do you actually like the way she treats you?’ “She works where?” “I can’t believe that you are dumb enough to date him.” “I just don’t think he is on your level.” At some point you have to realize that your criticisms are falling on deaf ears, and that your attempt to shame someone into dumping their special someone is only compromising the closeness that you and that person once had. Not to mention that, when something does go awry, you have thrown yourself out of the equation as someone who can been relied upon as a source for good advice. Which is exactly your responsibility as a friend.
Staying out of other folks business is a lot harder sometimes than it sounds. We are all so emotional attached to our loved ones that we become emotionally invested in the happiness of others and that is a reflection of your concern. But you have to ask yourself, whose happiness are you most concerned with. Theirs or yours? Understand that you have the right to express your concerns, but let that concern be for someone else’s happiness and not your own comfort level. Grown ups have to come to decisions about their life on their own because in the end they are the only ones who really have to live with them. And having a “friend” walking around like a parrot repeating the same old bratty, bitter, belligerent and bossy criticisms make you more of a Bitch than a friend.