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5.09.2010

Unexpected Results

The responses I've gotten so far from my open letter were varied and none of them were expected.

Let's start with responses from friends/people who know me intimately.

I've gotten ranges from "I'm going to do better" to "Took you long enough." Obviously a lot of people wondered what set me off. I've been relatively vague with a lot of people about that, because I don't want to blame any one person or thing. I want people to understand this came from things that's been happening.

I haven't yet heard from anyone who was offended by the letter or who felt like I was out of line. I'm not even sure who all has read the letter but as it relates to my friends, I'm less interested in what they have to say and more interested in what they have to do.

My favorite responses have come from people who don't know me personally. Some have been "internet friends" for years, others didn't know who I was before they stumbled upon this post. All of those responses have been some variation of "I see myself in that letter and I will do better" or "I know exactly how you feel."

The latter category of comments have been the most helpful in me learning from this. One of the hardest things as I thought about how some of my friends were treating me was feeling like I was the only person who had made a lot of mistakes with regards to who I let in my circle. Knowing that there were people out there who also had these issues with their friends has definitely helped me.

The former category of comments were among the most unexpected. I think when you read a letter like the one I wrote, you immediately want to assure yourself that you are not like that. When you see those sorts of actions spelled out so cleanly and unmistakably, you probably plead with the universe to assure you that you are NOT that horrible. But to be be self-aware enough to read a critical note such as that and admit that you see yourself in it takes guts, courage and really speaks volumes about your character.

My favorite outcome of this whole thing has been the self-introspection I've done. It was important to me that I noted in my letter my own shortcomings. It was my way of showing that I am fully cognizant that there are areas that I need to work on and that the letter didn't come from a place of superiority, but rather a place of wanting to be better and wanting everyone around me to do shoot for the same thing. So I'm definitely working on me in this. I told a friend earlier that maybe the letter was step 1 - acknowledging that there are people I need to get rid of.

Anywho- those are the immediate results. Though they've all been mostly unexpected what I'm really excited to see the long-term results. Mostly for myself, but definitely overall. I'll keep ya'll updated. :)

2 comments:

jjbrock said...

A.Smith when I read your post about friends I had to comment...The Sunday School lesson for the month of May is dealing with friendship...I am trying to get the young adults I teach on Sundays to realize what a true friend is...And friends shouldn't be taken advantage of.
I mention your post to the class.

A.Smith said...

JJ-Thanks for both of your comments. My mom and I have talked ad nauseum about friendships, specifically mine and I would always say "why can't people see how good friends act and replicate that?" But I'm realizing that what she kept telling me over and over is so true. You show (as in teach) people how to treat you. They don't always come to you already knowing how to do that.

BTW, I'm glad to hear that's a subject in Sunday School at your church. I feel like my church always teaches about Godly romantic relationships, but rarely about Godly friendships, which is interesting given that a great example of such friendships is found in the relationship between Jesus and the disciples...

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