Instructor: Toya Bush-Harris
Course: Friendship 101
1. Honestly, I will always be honest with my friends, even if it hurts us both. Being fake and phony takes too much energy. One should never tell someone something false in an attempt to "spare feelings." The temporary gratification felt when you lie will sting more when the truth eventually comes out...and it always does. Examples as follows:
A. I will not apologize for something of which I am not guilty. Let’s take the Mariah situation for instance. Calling someone, sending flowers, and doting on someone whom you are not only not in contact with, but also have had recent conflict with, would be insincere. I would not expect anyone who would not call me to wish me well on Monday to call me for a hug on Wednesday just because Tuesday was rough. Mariah, just because I did not reach out to you in the time frame in which you preferred doesn't make my empathy for your less null and void. I think it would be worse for me to reach out in a fake way. I don't remember flowers from the Huqs when my father-in-law passed, so...you get the message.
B. If I like OR dislike something, my friends will be the FIRST to know. I don’t believe in waiting long periods of time to speak my mind. For example, Simone… you know good and well that hotel selection was booty! LOL, I’m never going to smile in anyone’s face and say I like something that I do not. But after I express myself, we can sit back and laugh about it. The hotel was not exactly up to my standards, but we did end up having a good trip. But next time, I need to pick the accommodations for sure.
2. Responsibility amongst friends (i.e. honestly taken to the next level): I expect my friends to have my best interests at heart and vice versa. Sometimes in relationships, you have to keep it real, and even if keeping it real goes wrong, you have to do the right thing and speak up against injustice and wrong doings. For example, Lisa…I think you are a great person, and I know my choice of timing in speaking up about your husband’s occasional dishonestly at dinner may have been poor timing, but as I was looking over at him, all I could think of was you and how you deserve better today. I know you and Darren love one another, but I also know that you have been hurt in the past few weeks, and I wanted him to know he needs to be accountable.
3. Caring: I will never let my friends compromise themselves or put themselves in bad spaces if I can help it. For example: Lisa. Yes, I will escort you away from the drama. I will never leave you to argue with another friend over something so minor in the grand scheme of things.
Conclusion: It is hard work being my friend, but it can be worth it. I look out for mine and expect the same. The good thing about me is that once I forgive, I move on and pray that God helps my heart and mind to heal. I will not bring up things that happened years ago (i.e. Mariah and Aydin) only to open old wounds. I'm not interested in the lies, recaps, or cries for attention. If you forgive, it’s wrong to keep throwing the acid of the past in your friend’s face when it serves your agenda. Friends are people, not puppets.
I will end here and add on to this list soon I'm sure...