You Think Your Thoughts and I'll Think My Thoughts

If you ain't walked a mile in my shoes and you ain't lived a day in my life... you can't motherfuckin' judge me partner. In order to understand my train of thoughts, you'll have to put yourself in my position. You can't expect me to think like you cause my life ain't like yours...

When I heard T.I. say this on this song, I had an epiphany of sorts. I've always felt like this but never been able to explain it. Allow me to explain it now.

On a pretty regular basis my friends make decisions that I don't understand nor do I agree with. Sometimes those decisions are ones I've advised them against, other times I had no idea they were coming, but ultimately, at the age we're at, my friends are grown and it's not my job to criticize or analyze every decision they make. More than that, I don't want anyone doing that to me. Like T.I. says (and to paraphrase) if we don't think alike how can we make the same decisions?

So when one of my closest friends calls to tell me she finally sees the light and is planning to break up with her boyfriend, I'm reminded of this post I made awhile back where I outlined my feelings. I felt like the best thing I could do while she was in the relationship was keep quiet. He wasn't beating her up, he wasn't abusing her necessarily, he just wasn't a good guy for her. However I ultimately decided that I needed to resist my hero complex tendencies and let her walk this path under her own power.

Ok, I didn't really run through all that in my mind when she called. I actually squealed...admittedly from excitement. She busted me out; she asked "was that happiness?" and I told her I'd have to get back to her on it.

Then a mutual friend called and railed on me. She told me that I shouldn't have done that. She told me that our friend has been struggling with this decision and dealing with everyone from her mom to her close friends using this as an opportunity to reveal how much they never liked this guy (which, btw, I didn't do) and THEN she also took the time to tell me in no uncertain terms that if I had been a real friend all along, I would've told her from the beginning I didn't like this guy.

[record scratch...]

I was confused. She and I had talked about this. I explained my rationale. I told her that I wasn't going to say anything about how I felt about their relationship unless I was asked a direct question. I explained that as much as I didn't like watching it, she needed to learn. I further explained, that I wouldn't be able to do it for too long and so I would put up with it for a little while but either she was going to have to change her situation or we would have to stop talking about it. The latter is what happened and everything seemed to be fine.

I don't care what the 3rd friend says. I stand firm in my decision. I even back myself up on my squeal (hey, she caught me off guard!) I HATED when my friends took it upon themselves to outline everything that was wrong with my relationship. I thought to myself, "hey, who's living this every day? You or me? So who knows what to do?" and I take that approach from the other side of the glass, too. I'm allowed to have my own opinions and they're allowed to be different from yours, but unless I'm asked for 'em, I'm gonna keep them to myself.

There's no such thing as a hard and fast rule where life is concerned. That's what makes personal blogs interesting... we're all going through various forms of the same shit, so for me it's always good to see how other people with different backgrounds and experiences are handling the same situations. I believe some things very firmly (this being one of them) and when asked for advice in situationst hat apply, this is what I would advise, but I understand that in most cases, for the decisions we make, we are the lone ones to deal with the consequences and that means way more than anything else.


Anonymous said...

I agree. I don't give my opinion on other people's relationships unless asked for it directly.

Keith said...

I used to give un asked for advice
as well as asked for advice all the times and I found that basically, People still do what they want to do. I took my cape off and my long underwear and hung it up in the closet a long time ago. Great Post.

A.Smith said...

Tasha- And even then I like to make sure they really want the truth.

Keith- I'm still working on hanging up the cape (I took off the long underwear, it was uncomfortable) :)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what the 3rd friend's role is in this situation. She should mind her own business.

A.Smith said...

ABrownGirl- I agree with you. She meant well, I think, and it was fine for her to express her thoughts on what I said, but overall... I would've been ok with her hushing up...

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