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Queen: Don’t Speak…Your Words Hurt Me More

QueenYinka

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There was this friend of mine going through some challenges and every time she spoke to me about them, I would encourage her and made sure she left me feeling better from the hurt.

Most often, if I didn’t have what to say, I would turn to explain that certain things are meant to be mysterious and she should let go of the situation and how she felt. I just always made sure I dissected the situation to have a solution so we can part happily.

Yet, one day she went all quiet and made certain decisions on the issue without first discussing with me. And although I understood why she would want time alone and make some decisions without talking to me about it, I still felt betrayed.

I felt like I had been the perfect best friend I could ever be. I had shared my time and sometimes, my resources no matter how limited just to show her she could count on me; and that it’s ‘US’ against the world.

Was apparently wrong.

We discussed it all and we are in a better place today, but I still didn’t understand why she did what she did and so, I got scared to even tell her anything, when she complains of this same issue. I felt like I was saying a lot, but wasn’t saying the right thing; or maybe I wasn’t saying what she wanted to hear.

And again, I thought wrong because she felt I was withdrawing.

However, recently, I went through a life changing experience and I couldn’t think of telling anyone. I felt like telling anyone was going to rob me of how I felt; and if they ever tried to make light of the situation or how I felt, I wasn’t going to forgive.

And… that was it.

My friend’s issue came to my mind. She had been telling me about how she felt and I had been using the mind of one who hadn’t gone through such experience or anything close, to validate or tell her how she is supposed to feel. (Meanwhile, she didn’t feel I had that power, she just wanted to keep talking until she could figure it out. She didn’t need my advice or validation).

All of a sudden, I understood what it meant to shut up and listen; and I also understand why people act differently when they go through things.

More importantly, I understood that I am not allowed to judge how anyone react to their issues, and it doesn’t matter if I consider it as too extreme or too light.

I simply knew it was the state of mind that determines how you react. The stamina it had gained and what it has been fed with will determine how it directs your body to react; and most of the time, you have no control at that stage.

(If you understand this, you will understand why people go into depression for something that sounds less to your own mind).

So, here is my new rule of living: as much as I need to offer help to a friend hurting, I will never interrupt their process of grief by speaking.

And, this isn’t a pity party because you are not pretending to be as deeply hurt as they are; but only showing empathy because although you understand they need help, you also want them to exercise their right to grief and to let them know that you have no power to stop them from feeling the way they feel.

Keep all advises till when they are healed. Don’t forget, their state of mind is very different now; and they won’t see things as they would normally do.

And most importantly, beyond their words, listen to their heart; because then, you hear the true hurt speak.

Cheers to better friendships!

Photo Credit: Neonshot | Dreamstime.com

15 Comments

  1. Bodunade

    May 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

    As a rule, I don’t discuss personal issues with anyone because like the OP might have realized nobody really gets it.
    If you are hungry, you eat, problem solved but things that have your emotions in the mix don’t work the same way.
    The question is, how can your Paddy confide in you about an issue and you keep quiet and have nothing to say. Isn’t that bonkers?
    You just keep mute and hang-up or walk away??
    Listen to their heart and hear the hurt speak sounds very vague, verbal gymnastics without really answering the question.
    It’s great we are talking about friendship and how to be better people.

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      May 30, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Simply put: I comfort with actions rather than with words. If they need to hug, need me to send them a slice of their favorite cake or flowers, need me to take them out, need me to pray with them,e.t.c. I will DO anything to make them feel better. I have learnt to say nothing to justify how they feel or shouldn’t feel. Whatever I think about the issue would be passed across when to them when they feel better. (This is what I would want as well).

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      May 30, 2017 at 9:29 am

      …Thanks for reading

  2. omaa

    May 29, 2017 at 9:49 am

    you are right. most times we just want to pour it all out.

  3. Julian

    May 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Currently having an issue with a friend cz I asked questions about a guy she met this year and is already engaged to. I was advised it might not go down well with her but I wondered what kind of a frond I’d be if I knew nothing about th man my close friend is about to spend the rest of my life with. Well we aren’t close friends anymore.. she called me jealous and now we hardly speak to eachother.

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      May 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

      If the friendship means a lot to you, you might have to do the work to make sure she understands why you asked. Even if it is just for records sake. Sometimes, it isn’t what we say, but our attitude, choice of words and timing. We all want people to be silly happy with us when we are, even if it is too silly. She might agree with you, but will not see it if it came across to her like you were judging or attacking her. (Plus marriage is a big deal; if you have your genuine doubts, you want to make sure she sees it. You might have to find another way to tell her, but she needs to see your heart first. You need to rejoice genuinely, celebrate and then when the clouds are a little clear, you have a discussion with her. Also, have an open mind, although it is just 5 months, it still might be real).

  4. Nkem

    May 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    This piece couldn’t have come at a better time. I am 22 and currently going through a quarter life crisis. It’s not a beautiful place to be in as I have been asking a lot of questions and I need answers to them. The people around me have failed to understand that I need to go through this phase to hopefully grow and become better. They have failed to understand that their advice and encouraging words will do little or nothing to help my current state of mind.

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      May 30, 2017 at 9:26 am

      As much as you want to do this alone, please use some of your support systems. Just knowing they care and waiting for you to snap out, might just help you go through this process faster. Don’t forget they miss the ‘you’ they know.

  5. Anonymous

    May 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I’ll listen to you as a friend if I needed to pour my heart out to someone as long as you do not keep telling me to do what I had already done e.g. pray, have a conversation, involve so and so people. Most times, listening and support on someone’s decision is the key for their mental state.

    • QueenYinka

      Queen

      May 30, 2017 at 9:29 am

      100%. We need to know the person is smart enough and most likely have done all we might have to say. How about we just listen and support with actions! Cheer them up, take them out, send them funny videos, and so on, Anything apart from the obvious annoying advise we always can’t wait to dish out. Thanks for reading

  6. QueenYinka

    Queen

    May 30, 2017 at 9:30 am

    …Thanks for reading

  7. Bipolar Me

    May 30, 2017 at 10:26 am

    This is me right now..

    I lost a friend and nobody gets me..
    When I try to talk about him, people interrupt with prayers and how to move on.

    All I want to do is talk about him..to someone who actually listens.

    • Deleke

      May 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

      I will listen

    • Jade

      May 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Email me, [email protected], we can talk on phone if you like or meet in person if youre in Abuja. I promise to listen. Hugs

  8. zaza

    May 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    True I have learnt to just shut up and listen I have realised that most people just want a listening ear

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