Nearly twenty years ago I had a boyfriend who left me. I went to pieces. I took it as a reflection of my own value and my self-esteem plummeted. I was very young and drank too much and cried, a lot. For a long time. Looking back, it was the culmination of a year where a lot of bad things had happened and I don't want to judge myself too harshly, and I got over it.
One of the reasons I got over it was that I had kind, supportive friends who listened when I rambled and bored them in my self-indulgent misery. It must have been difficult for them at times, it was undoubtedly boring, but they were there. One of those people, Gill *, was there for me through it all and is still one of my absolute, most trusted, most loved friends nearly twenty years later. So why then, did one of our mutual friends feel the need to say,
"You should hear what she says about you behind your back."?
Why does that comment NEVER come before a list of lovely things, of praise, of kindness and support? Why does the Teller always find that one, throwaway comment made in exasperation, in a grumpy mood, because the dear friend needed to vent? Why do they need to pass it on at all?
Do they think you'll be grateful? Do they think you'll be glad the scales have fallen from your eyes? Do they think you'll like them better because your friend turns out to be human?
I don't care what they are trying to achieve. They manage one thing; I stop trusting them. I remember all the support my friend gives and understand that they love me but need to moan sometimes (don't we all?) and I refuse to listen to whispers and suspicion.
Gill is still my friend; the person who "told" is not. Oh, and when one of my friends tells me something lovely about another, I pass THAT on.
* Name has been kept the same to praise the praiseworthy!