There comes a time in life when you feel stagnant in your position. This may be in your job, your education, your business, even your role in your family at times! It’s actually scary when you have to ask yourself “What have I learnt lately?’
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my relationships. I don’t know why but I’ve been feeling a bit irrelevant in my relationships with my friends. Now, I have only a select few I call my friends, and I’ve been feeling rather inactive towards them. I’ve just been in a weird place where it’s like my friends are always “giving” to me and all I do is “collect”. But something happened recently that made me realise I wasn’t as stuck as I thought.
So, just recently a friend came up to me and said “Zara, I need your voice of wisdom right now.”
Immediately, I thought what has this guy gotten himself into again. But when he went on to explain what he needed help with, I realised this is something people actually go through and unfortunately for most, they won’t have the right people around them to tell them the right thing to do. As I said my friend came up to me asking for help, let’s call this friend Ben. So Ben wanted me to help him with a situation that involved a mutual friend of ours, who we’ll refer to as Kate. We’ve all been friends for a really long time; but Ben and Kate are really close, almost best friends even.
Anyway, Kate’s birthday was coming up and she was thinking of ways to celebrate it. She wanted to go to the spa, she wanted to go see a movie, she wanted to do a lot of things but couldn’t really decide on what to do. But then she decided that she would treat herself to a spa day, and she invited Ben to go along with her.
For the record; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with friends going to the spa together, so I started thinking why is Ben overreacting? It’s not like we’ve not all gone out as a group before. Here is where things get interesting, Kate is engaged. So naturally, when Ben asked who else would be going to the spa day he asked if her fiancé would be going along including the rest of our friends. Things got a little bit confusing for me as Ben explained that no one else would be going along for the spa day; it was going to be just himself and Kate.
Kate even went on to tell Ben that she hadn’t brought up the idea with her fiancé!! When Ben told her he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of just them going together, and not telling her fiancé, Kate’s response was “What’s the worst that can happen?”
All the red flags in my head went up at that statement. It just reminded me of when the serpent was trying to convince Eve to eat the forbidden fruit! I mentioned this to Ben, and he said he felt the same way too. He said when he tried to call Kate out on it, she got defensive saying “I was going to tell my fiancé after we decided if we were going but maybe I shouldn’t say anything at all now.”
She said she didn’t think twice about asking Ben because they are friends and she thought he would be fine with it. I immediately told Ben to stand by his rejection of the offer. If it’s something she doesn’t want to tell her fiancé now, it was definitely something she shouldn’t have offered in the first place.
This whole thing has baffled me. I mean how can someone who claims to be happily engaged, be so blasé about this sort of thing? I’m so proud of Ben for having the discernment to know something was off; and for also reaching out to ask for help.
I honestly feel that there is a knowing that comes when you’re about to make the wrong decision, or say the wrong thing, or even agree to something stupid. It’s up to us to decide if we’ll choose to listen to that knowing and judge correctly, to do the right thing.
But back to what I learnt recently. I learnt that even though it feels like my friends are doing all the ‘giving’ in this season of our relationship; they know that they can come to me to ‘give’ when they need me. It touched my heart when Ben came to me for help, especially when I’d been beating myself up internally for being a bad friend.
There really is a ‘knowing’ that I believe we all have. I believe it helps us be decent humans, most of the time. It’s the ‘knowing’ you get when you sense a friend needs you to be serious and not joke about a certain topic. Or that ‘knowing’ you get when you sense you need to step up your game as a sister, a wife, a manager, an employer, an employee and every title that you may hold. It helps us to push forward in life, to not settle for anything other than striving for our very next steps.