This is day 15 in a 31 day series on Living Boldly. To read the other posts, go here. Welcome!
One fear I can deal with in friendships is the whole “are they mad at me?” thing.
The conversation ends and you go home and are alone with your thoughts. You start to reflect on all that was said. And start to wonder if maybe what you said wasn’t that great after all.
Did I offend? Was I misunderstood? What does she think of me now?
Or when you haven’t heard from a friend in a while. Maybe she hasn’t called back or you sense a coolness between you that wasn’t there before.
Is she mad? Are we still friends?
Maybe this is all just me. But from what I hear from girlfriends, I kind of doubt it.
The Antidote to “Is She Mad at Me?”
Back in college, a wise woman once told me her policy about all of this: “Believe the best until you hear otherwise.”
In other words, assume that everything is fine unless the friend says differently. Maybe you are already in this habit, but at the time, the concept was revolutionary for me.
You mean I don’t have sit around being anxious and worried about the relationship? I can just trust my friend to tell me if something is wrong?
Well, what if she doesn’t? And it really seems like something is wrong?
Ok, then ask: When I said X, did that hurt or offend you? Hey, are you doing ok lately? Is there anything you’d like to talk about?
Easy peasy. Well, maybe it’s not always easy to start those conversations, but the principle is pretty simple: when in doubt, ask.
You know that verse from the Bible about love that everyone likes to quote? My favorite translation of it goes like this:
“Love…is ever ready to believe the best of every person.” 1 Corinthians 13:7, Amplified Version
Love is ready to believe that they’re not mad. Or that they will extend grace if I’ve wronged them. That they’re believing the best about me.
For me, to hope for the best (or ask a question) in the face of fears often feels bold.
But I’ve been trying it for a while now and I like it a whole lot better than anxiously focusing on what may or may not be wrong.
Do you fear what friends may be thinking and not saying?
P.S., you might also want to check out my blogging-friend Emily’s series, 31 Days of Gentleness for the Rest of Us. It compliments a series on boldness well :).