It’s the standard question when we see a friend’s lip curling in the telltale inverted U shape (why yes, I do realize I am thinking about biostatistics so much that graphical terminology creeps into my journal entries).
Some people will decline to discuss whatever is causing today’s case of “not okay.” Others will tell you more about it then you cared to know.
I think a lot of girls, myself included, go the route of the overshare. We rant to our friends, we discuss every detail of our despair with our moms. Often times when I’ve talked to friend about a trivial but-at the time-upsetting issue and then apologized for venting, she reassures me with “that’s what friends are for,” just like I always have said in the reverse situation.
So IS that what friends are for? Friends are certainly for seeing you through legitimately upsetting events. But are my friends really “for” listening to every time I’m vaguely annoyed, insecure or anxious?Most times when I talk a friend’s ear off about a not-so-serious problem, I don’t actually feel better. I feel annoying…I feel like I just made my friend spend a perfectly good hour of her life reassuring me about something mundane that I probably would have felt better about in an hour anyways.
Problem talk seems to take on a “boy who cried wolf” quality. I’m sure you’ve received a text or phone call that begins something like “Oh my god, I have the most awful news!” only to find out that the said tragedy is…not all that tragic.
Disclaimer: I’ve done this myself so I’m not bagging on those who have cried wolf. However, I am resolving to cry wolf as little as possible. I love my friends and am lucky to have their advice and support when I need it. But the operative word is need…and when I’m just being a crankasorous overreactess I don’t need to ruin a cheerful friend’s day. I need to take a chill pill and be an adult who can take things in her stride.
Let’s face it : mild moodiness passes and it’s not worth throwing around dark clouds while you ride it out. Maybe it’s like borrowing money…if a friend asks you to spot her for a cab ride once when she forgets to bring cash, you will probably cover her gladly. But if every single time you go out the same friend has nothing in her wallet but excuses why she “couldn’t find an ATM” you will feel more and more inclined to wish her a pleasant walk home.