Friday, September 11, 2015

The Verbal Sideswipe

I cannot be the only one...who has been having a perfectly fine day only to be verbally sideswiped by a friend (yes, a friend, not acquaintance) and was left wondering, "What just happened?!"

My day started like any other, brisk jog through the neighborhood, breakfast with the fam, and then off to school right on time. Things were going great and it was only 7:25 in the morning.

Then things took a turn.

With Sonny Boy safely tucked away in his second grade classroom, I started making my way to my car with my Mama friends walking by my side discussing the usual mundane weekday topics (you know, tooth brushing trauma, too much homework, or hectic schedule complaints). This is when it happened, this is one of my friends tattled on my son on behalf of her son.

The details are pretty typical kid drama, it was more of a sticks-and-stones-may-break-my-bones-but-words-will-never-hurt-me type of misbehavior,  but instead of only dealing with the infraction made by my kiddo, my blood was boiling from the tattling on him by my friend.

I returned home to get myself ready for work, still reeling over the discussion with my "friend" outside of the school. I tried to put on a brave face and focus on the details of my day, but it just wasn't working. The conversation played over and over, on a constant loop, in my head.

I left the house in a daze.

I was feeling like a bad mother whose child doesn't know how to behave when I am not around, I felt like a bad friend for being so defensive when the other mom told me about my son's wrong doing, and I was probably not the greatest wife, daughter, runner, or yogi while I was listing my shortcomings.

Things were piling up and I was in a state. I had to do something about it.

I decided what I needed to do was confront my friend about the tattling and let her know what it had done to my day. I was hoping that she had also thought about it and was in the same frame of mind that I was, that there was nothing that could have been done and that the information could have been kept to herself...boy was I wrong. She was NOT in the same frame of mind and when I confronted her...she cried.

Here I am, a full-grown adult making people cry outside of our children's elementary school, I didn't even know who I was anymore.

This day was a loss. I needed to go home, stay inside, avoid phone calls and text messages and hope that when the sun came up the next morning I would wake with a new state of mind. This verbal sideswiping in the form of tattling on my son by a friend was something I was not prepared for. I truthfully don't exactly know how I feel about it. Have you ever experienced this, if so please share with us your way of handling a similar situation...please, because I am still not sure how I was supposed to handle it.

4 comments:

  1. Hang in there---we all have bad days. I don't think I've ever had another mom "Tattle"...this lady probably didn't think through how her words would affect you. I'm surprised she cried as I doubt you came out guns blazing! Maybe she was also having a bad day. Were you able to calm her down and leave things okay? Or will it be awkward the next time you see her? Man, social crap at our age is so hard. It makes me want to stay home and close the curtains LOL ps--I also run conversations on loop in my head. But while you were replaying the morning convo, she probably hadn't given it a second thought. It's hard to turn off the cycle...sending you positive vibes :) :) -kristiina

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    1. Hey Kristina,

      Things are pretty weird between that particular friend and I now. I am actively trying to make it better but...so far, not so good.

      Thanks for stopping by and for the positive vibes...I can always use some!

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  2. I worked with a personal coach for a while and one of the best things she taught me was to stand back and ask myself - how can I see this person as innocent? We are always quick to jump to the wrong conclusion and build a case of "facts" that we are positive are true, but often times, there is a hidden piece of the puzzle that we didn't know about, or something about their motives that we didn't understand. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is always a good choice and just figuring they are having a bad day, maybe their kid was really upset by what was said or done and she is feeling protective, or maybe she just wasn't thinking. I generally will let things like this just roll off my back because I know how embarrassing it is when you get into a fuss like this with someone. Now, if it's an ongoing pattern, then it's time to step away, but even then, I just do it quietly by just drifting out of the relationship. I had to do that with an OCD friend of mine recently and it was hard. She's such a good person and I really enjoyed being friends with her, but when you're dealing with major issues like that, you have to totally run the relationship on her terms and I just wasn't up for it any more. Her social anxiety issues ruined many an outing, so I finally decided I needed to just step back from it and let her be who she is.

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    1. Adrian,

      Thanks for that solid advice!

      I am working on letting things roll of my back, as you suggested, I didn't really feel better after I confronted my friend...actually I felt worse. I wonder where my friendship would be now if I had just let the comments go and moved on, hindsight, right?

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your words of wisdom :)

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