April Jeppson: Good friendships are worth fighting for
Published 10:20 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
I go to check my phone and realize that I have missed a call and a text from my friend. Her text was simple, “girl, pick up your phone.” I was at work and couldn’t talk, so I texted back that she could message me. I didn’t hear anything back from her. About two hours later, she showed up to my work.
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I was both happy and surprised to see her. She waits until I finish up with a customer and then jumps right in to the reason for her visit.
I had offended her. I had done something wrong, and I was completely unaware. If she had not brought it to my attention, I never would have thought about the incident again. However, it hurt her and we are friends. She thought about it for a while, and then called a mutual friend to hash it out. She was not sure how to move forward. Does she confront me? Does she just write me off and end our friendship? Did I do it on purpose? It was agreed upon that the best plan of attack was to simply talk to me about it.
They were correct. I had no idea what I had done. After hearing her side of the story, I felt awful. My heart hurt for the fact that my actions caused my friend pain. I told her I was sorry and that I had no idea. I then listened to her and said that I would be mad, too, if I were her. The conversation maybe lasted five minutes, but then it was resolved. She went on her way and I went on mine.
I have thought about this interaction multiple times since it happened. How cool is my friend that she came and talked to me? How brave that she spoke to me face to face instead of sending me a text. We were both allowed to calmly share our side of the story, and then come to an understanding. It did not matter what I thought I did, because at the end of the day, I hurt my friend and I acknowledged that.
I think about all the people I have met over the years. So many of them harbor resentment and sour feelings. I wonder how many of these hurt friendships could have been resolved with a simple conversation. I know that I have been in situations where I was not impressed with how a friend treated me. Or I heard a story from a friend about something that was said in my absence. Usually I just take a mental note about that person and simply trust them less or do not hang out with them as often. How many friendships could have flourished if I had simply said something?
This was the perfect reminder I needed. A friendship is like a marriage. There will be highs and lows. It is a lot of fun, but it still requires work. In addition, just as a good marriage is worth fighting for, so is a good friendship. So thank you, girl, for fighting for us.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.