Just yesterday I was on the phone with a friend who was upset about something.
I played the role of good friend and listened.
And then something terrible happened and I opened my mouth.
And kept talking until I think we both felt terrible.

I meant the advice I gave my friend.
But it wasn’t very timely.
What she needed right then was someone to listen and sympathize and make plans to go drown it in coffee later.
Instead I tried to provide answers that were a little harsh.
Even worse.
They advice I gave is rarely advice I follow in my own life.

So I hung up and felt pretty unsettled.
You see I like to defend my friends.
I like to “be on their team”
Even if we disagree.
Because I hope they would do the same in the many scenarios where I don’t deserve it.
Being against them makes me uncomfortable.
I’m not saying it isn’t important to speak up or that you have to agree or that you shouldn’t offer sound advice when it is asked for.
Sometimes important things are hard to hear.
BUT in this particular case
No one asked.

And so about an hour later I called back and apologized.
Not completely for what I said.
But how and when I said it.
Which was equally awkward to the conversation we had earlier.
Maybe even more so
BUT in this particular case
The words weren’t so much hard to hear as they were hard to say.
And I think maybe the most important ones are.


Andrea said...

This is something that I think is so hard for many, many people. It is hard to just listen, especially when we have something we want to say. And how hard to call back. Good for you.

Margie said...

I have a tendency to talk, and talk, and talk. I appreciate your honesty about your own end of the conversation; I've been in exactly your shoes. I'm trying to learn, but old habits are hard to break. Like this post for the encouragement it gives me - I'm not the only one, and there's still a lot of work to be done.