TheRealSharon's Blog

*This is a post that was requested by a friend/customer of my Jewelry Candles Business*

First of all, I think we ALL at times need to know how to be nice when our friend is acting not so deserving of it at the moment. I admit it can be hard for me sometimes. I think close friends are like family and Family can hurt you more than anyone else!

I can remember times when I have had some serious fights and arguments with a best friend and said and did things that I regretted. There were moments afterwards where I wondered if we would be able to work it out and go back to being friends. The ones that have remained my best friends are the ones that accepted I wasn’t perfect, accepted my apologies, apologized themselves and we moved on stronger as friends. I almost liken it to a marriage relationship in a way. Wives and Husbands have their arguments but a GOOD marriage means talking things over, compromising and just moving on. Truly forgiving AND forgetting.

But how DO you be nice to your friends when they aren’t being so nice themselves? Or when they are being overly grumpy or bossy? It’s not easy. In fact, I think my first instinct is to snap back at them and put them in their place.  With some people, it might work, but most of the time I think this ends up just making the problem worse. So, I think the way to be nice is to sometimes step away from the situation, if possible. Separate yourself from the situation, count to 10, think of WHY your friend is acting the way he or she is. Sometimes by putting yourself in the other person’s place, you start to realize WHY they may be acting that way and you can understand that it’s not YOUR fault they are acting that way. You know this person’s heart and you know they are not themselves in that moment. They may be under a lot of stress or feeling bad, lost their job, etc. Often times when people are going through tough times, they lash out on the people closest to them and react in ways that are unusual for them. By backing away from the situation, you can keep a cooler head and tell yourself, “This is NOT their usual demeanor, they are acting this way because of this or that and I just need to remember the person I KNOW they really are and this, too, will cease.” Your friend will eventually get over their mood, probably end up feeling lousy about their actions and they will apologize. IF they are indeed a good friend, that is!

And if YOU’RE the one that did or said something because of stress or whatever the situation, then calm down, forgive yourself and understand that you’re only human. Nobody is perfect and we all have our bad days. A true test of friendship is being able to overcome the lows of the valleys and make it through to stand on the mountaintops!

Not everyone may agree with me, but arguments and fights are a normal part of ANY good relationship. Yea, I know that seems like an oxymoron or something, but it’s true! When I see a relationship where both people are always nice and never argue, I see two people that are being fake. I’m sorry, but you KNOW that one or the other are hiding their true feelings to satisfy the other. True, fights where people are physically hurting the other or throwing things are NOT healthy and good for a relationship. BUT disagreements involving just words ARE. It’s good for friends, family and spouses to be able to talk through things and learn to compromise so that EACH person in the relationship feels like their feelings are important. A one sided relationship is doomed for failure. And you can bet that seemingly perfect couple who NEVER argue are bound to explode one day.

Have you ever tried to hold your feelings in and let people continuously take advantage of you? It feels like you’re being swallowed up, doesn’t it? Like you’re a non factor? Eventually those feelings HAVE to come out, so you either explode one day and everything just trickles out in a huge mess OR you end up letting them out by harming yourself. 😦 I can say I know this from experience cause I have tried holding feelings in before in the past.

Yes, there’s situations where you want to act mature and you might have to bite your tongue, but I truly feel you should NOT let people take advantage of you. You HAVE to learn to speak up. If it’s in a relationship, it may even mean that that relationship isn’t meant to be.

And then sometimes being nice to your friends means having to hurt their feelings a bit. When your friend asks you something wanting the truth, the truth may hurt more than what you think a lie would. But you have to remember that as a friend, you owe them honesty. This is where it gets difficult, because honesty can come out pretty harsh at times. You have to then learn to be honest in a way that isn’t cruel. For example, “I LOVE this outfit. Does it look good on me?” In your head, you’re thinking, this outfit makes my friend look fat  but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. At the same time, do you think your friend wants to walk around with possibly everyone thinking that? No! So you would say something like, “You know, the outfit is nice, but it doesn’t do you justice. You are way more beautiful than that outfit gives you credit for. Let’s try another one.”

Yea, sometimes you’re going to say something wrong…again, nobody is perfect, but in the end, I always say: “If someone IS truly a best friend, then things will always work out for good.”

I have a niece who is also my best friend in the world. We have had big fights and arguments in the past, but we have ALWAYS been able to get over them quickly. WHY? Because at the end of the day, I KNOW the real her, she KNOWS the real me and a silly fight isn’t worth losing our friendship OR family bond over. I’m sure we will argue again in the future, but I have faith we will always be able to get over it, because real friends do. They have seen the WORST in you, they have seen the BEST in you, and regardless of it all, they still LOVE you.

{July 24, 2011}   The Evolution of Friendship

A close friend recently gave me the topic of Friendships and how they evolve to post about….I admit that the idea of this kind of post seems overwhelming to me. How do I summarize friendships? Each person tends to have a different idea of what it truly means and each friendship is unique in its own way. Some come about quickly and effortlessly, some slow and through struggles, but all TRUE friendships are precious.

As a child, a friendship can be more materialistic. When another little girl shared her toy with you, it was a sign that you were going to be friends. You would push each other on the swing set, take turns at who would get to play with the “best” Barbie doll, and have little sleep overs where you would talk about the other kids who didn’t share with you and you wished they did. The kid with the coolest toys ended up as the popular ones and if you were lucky enough to be their friend, you felt excited at the prospect of getting to share these toys.

Then you entered middle school and a lot of the friends you thought were special to you started to find new friends and ignore you. You started going through changes, both emotionally and physically, and friendship was a thing that tended to come and go with the seasons. It wasn’t unusual for a friend of today to be the enemy of tomorrow, than in turn, become a best friend the next week. It was a time of up and down roller coaster rides full of drama the likes of which your mother watched on daytime soaps.

High school….Different for each person depending on which clique you were in. For me, I was an outsider, not by choice, but by the fact that the title was thrust upon me. Friends I knew from Middle School went on to become popular and avoid me and I was left lonely searching for a friend in an unfriendly environment. The writer of “Mean Girls” wasn’t lying when she pictured a high school environment as a jungle. It can truly feel that way….a “Survival of the Fittest” involving cliques and trying to rise to the top seemed like an impossible climb. I made 2 friends in high school, one through church. She was younger than me by about a year so we weren’t at the same school but we were still childlike minded. We would have sleep overs and still play with barbie dolls…..I was 13 going on 14 my first year of high school…..stuck with tons of kids older, but not necessarily wiser. I met my other friend in a class when we were stuck together for an assignment. She was a few months older than me and my only friend at the high school. My two friendships were both unique, we both shared different interests, but we all came together out of a necessity for friendship and the commonality we shared.

As the high school years went on, we managed to keep the friendships together but when I left the high school for homeschool and then a separate school to finish early, our friendships split apart for a bit. My 2 friends had become friends and they were in a world separate from my world. They were still dealing with high school drama, starting to become more interested in boys and their time was less to share with me than before. Then when my younger friend became pregnant her senior year and I found out from her later than the others, we started to come back together as good friends…All 3 of us. We talked more than before and the friendship shifted. My friend that played barbie dolls with me was having a baby and would have to grow up quickly. My other friend was “in love” with a boy at the time and I was the one whose only relationship was a long distance one at the time with no plans to engage in the makings of a baby anytime soon, so it was different. I had 2 friends that were more experienced than me, they seemed to be more mature even though one was younger. They had seen more than me and I was excited at the idea of my friends being able to maybe teach me things that I didn’t know. I was still young and naive…and the friendships, although not materialistic, were not as deeply tethered as friends should be yet.

Of course, I had a best friend from a young age that was also my niece, although I didn’t publicly call her that until I was probably 10 or 11, I would say. My friendship bond with her was based on a family bond, a nurturing bond in which I wanted to protect her as my niece, a common interest bond and a general care and love for her future.

Then college started the friendships that are better known as acquaintances. I went through a lot of “friends” that shared classes with me, did plays with me and were in my singing/dancing group with me. Since we shared so much time together, we all talked a lot and I came to consider a vast majority of these acquaintances as my friends. I friended them on MySpace and referred them to everyone I knew as my “friends”……I started to feel like I was sort of popular. I had so many “friends” but it took me to the point of almost graduating college before I realized that pretty much none of them were my actual TRUE “friends”. They were acquaintances, just like my future co workers in jobs that I would have. They were people I saw all the time so that I was forced to have a working relationship where we got along because we were stuck together so much, but when the jobs ended, the plays ended, my group was done…..very few of them stuck around. Sure some of them ended up becoming friends on Facebook and an occasional “Hi, How are you?” would be exchanged but for the most part…..they were more acquaintances. Friends are people that when work and play is over, you still talk to them about their lives. You still think of them and wonder how they are doing with a genuine desire to know….not just a curiosity like when you show up at a high school reunion. Growing up, I started to learn that the “friends” on Myspace and Facebook are not necessarily your “friends” but people you have come across in your life that you talk to every once in awhile. Acquaintances.

Now as an adult, I’m seeing that a lot of my friends from childhood have disappeared in the wind. Some due to moving away, some due to them growing up and moving on with their lives and just deciding I was no longer of importance enough to keep up with like I was before. And I am at peace with that. I have lots of “friends” that will wish me Happy Birthday on that day, they will wave and say Hi to me at the store and maybe talk for a couple minutes. Then I have a few friends where not speaking to them after a long period of time makes me feel weak, like I have gone without water. Those are the friends that have stuck by me through the hard times and have accepted me for who I am….and all my changes through the years. They are the ones who know the ME that I can’t even see in me and truly want the best for me. They’re the TRUE friends and the ones I hope will be there until the day I die or the day they, God forbid, do so.

Some of my closest friends from the past have slowly drifted apart from me and some I grieve for, while others I do not. The ones I grieve for are the ones that I felt would always be there and I am at a loss as to what happened to make them leave. Then there are the ones that have failed to mature while I DID and so I have basically outgrown them, like a child outgrows a toy.

Then there’s the unexpected friendships since I have become an adult. The ones you meet in the strangest places and normally would never have become friends but you are put together and it somehow works. That’s the type of friend that told me to do THIS post. An older friend who I would have never thought I would be friends with in the past and now is someone I couldn’t picture my life without.

I have also discovered that when you make “true” friends in life, you can make it through the times when they’re busy with work and parenting while you have no kids. I used to think when a friend became a parent and you were NOT one, that the friendship would die away. Now I know that’s not always so. If you’re “true” friends, it doesn’t matter. The time can pass in between seeing each other and it still feels the same when you see each other again…just like no time has passed at all. Hearing from them on the computer or phone every once in awhile can be enough to last until I get the chance to see them in person again. It’s great to know that’s possible.

If I leave this world with just the “True” friends I have at this moment, I will be happy to know that I had the blessing of having such great ones.

Sometimes things just happen in life that are completely unexpected but so wonderful. A close friend of mine and my husband’s recently gifted us some money for our upcoming anniversary and it came out of nowhere. Me and my husband had no real plans for spending our anniversary as we are usually on a tight budget so we were just going to see what happened. Then along came an angel(my friend) wanting to give us a special gift and I didn’t even want to accept really. Not because I was unappreciative, but simply because I’m the type that feels like I’m undeserving of the gift so I want the giver to give to another. Which is why I threw it on to my husband to pick up the actual gift from the friend and be the one “accepting” even though it was for us both.

I’m so thankful for my friend for this gift, though. I already said thank you but I am more thankful than I have the words to express. I wasn’t expecting anything other than spending time alone wherever with my husband on our day which is always sufficient for me. Now me and him can go have dinner together somewhere special or do something else if we choose and I will remember it’s because of a special friend’s unexpected gift to us. I didn’t put the name because they might prefer to be a giver in disguise, but if the “friend” reads this and wants to claim themselves as the giver, it’s fine with me.

I am just so humbled by the great friends in my life that make me smile unexpectedly, whether it’s with a gift or just a message. I love all my friends and you’re the reason I get through my down times and fight through to the smiling times! 🙂

She has been my best friend practically from birth, even though I was 2 months shy of my 5th birthday when she was born. There’s no irony lost on me that the number 5 would later become my favorite number.

She was the second of my nieces to be born into this world and from the moment she entered it, she put a smile on my face. As practically a baby myself and the aunt of now 2, I was overjoyed at having another baby in the family. My first word was “baby” and I was obsessed with them so no surprise that I was more than a little excited to hold each one of my nieces when they were little ones.

I’m not sure exactly when the bond started to grow so much between me and my second niece but it was probably during the first time they were staying with us at our house in Austin. As the youngest of my mom’s kids, I felt like I had little sisters in the house and was excited to play board games, barbie dolls and put on little talent shows with my nieces. It was definitely NOT an aunt/niece relationship at that time…it was like we were siblings and there was not a little “sibling” rivalry that ensues during those kid and pre-teen years.

Somewhere along the line, I clicked with my second niece more so than the others….I still loved all of them dearly, but me and the 2nd niece(Beckah) started calling each other Best Friends. But it was more than that, even…She went through this “underdog” period and I felt like I was her protector and it made me very sad whenever she was hurt. Sad in a way stronger than a best friend bond, I guess as I grew, I realized it was a “motherly” feeling that must have come from being her aunt. As I grew up, I grew also more into the Aunt role and instead of just playing games with my nieces, I had this strong urge to protect them against anyone who would hurt them and worry about them whenever they did something I didn’t think they should have. This is probably why as I hit my teens, I tended to argue some with my nieces about not doing what their mom or my mom told them to do. I just wanted the best for them but I wasn’t even at an age where I had finished growing up myself!

No matter how many arguments I would have with my nieces through the years, me and Beckah always got over them pretty quick and were back to being close. There were many occasions where people told me that “Beckah was my favorite” and I denied it, even when I secretly knew there probably WAS favoritism there. I didn’t mean for it to be, it was just that something about her reminded me of myself and yet, different….and I also felt like even if she wasn’t family, we would have become friends had we met. Really good friends…like the lifetime kind.

My oldest sister actually compared Beckah to me sometimes when she would do something she didn’t approve of and tell her to stop “acting like Sharon”. I would be lying if this didn’t hurt me…not because I didn’t want to be compared to Beckah BUT because I always felt like I was a pretty good kid and a good person and it hurt that my sister didn’t seem to think so. I also have my oldest sister to thank for doing this now because saying THAT was probably another reason why I felt more protective of her and stood up for her more.

Beckah now lives back in Indiana and I don’t get to see her much but I know she’s there for me if I really need her to talk to and I think she knows that I’m always there for her, as well. From the moment I asked her to be the Maid of Honor at my wedding…I knew the cat was out of the bag. I could no longer deny that she was more than just one of my nieces. The whole family knows for sure now that she is also my best friend. At first, I was worried that my other nieces would feel less special because of this but I hope they always know there is no reason to. All of my nieces are like an extension of myself even IF I didn’t give birth to them. They each have different personalities and different things to offer and I love them all equally and would jump in front of a bullet for them if I had to.

The only difference is that Beckah is my best friend that God chose to make a part of my family, too. Like a 2 for 1 special. She would be my best friend anyways but now I have the extra bonus of her being family to keep us forever bonded. That’s the best gift ever to have your best friend as a member of your family. AND I’m also lucky that the rest of my nieces are closer to me because of our ages. I couldn’t have asked for things to work out better even if at times, when I was younger, it might not have always seemed so.

Today is Beckah’s 23rd Birthday and I can’t be there because we are almost a full day’s worth of driving apart from each other. It breaks my heart that I can’t celebrate her birthday with her but I want to wish her the best birthday possible and give her this tribute as a special gift. Keep this post saved whenever you want to remember how much I love you and miss you, Beckah! 🙂

~A big virtual hug to you!~

Beckah & me at her high school graduation about 5 years ago

Beckah & me at my wedding-July 2009

et cetera
Everything Mommyhood

Travel | Family | Deals | Beauty | Food | Life

Worldwide EndoMarch

The Global Endometriosis Uprising

Waiting for Baby Bird Ministries

infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy loss

Worth the trouble

“He couldn’t see why people made such a fuss about people eating their silly old fruit anyway, but life would be a lot less fun if they didn’t. And there was never an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.” ~from Good Omens

Under Reconstruction

Hope isn't an emotion, but a daily choice.

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

The Ideal Me by 24

Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Becoming Cliche

My Journey to Becoming My Mother

My Trousers Rolled

"I grow old...I grow old...I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled..." -- T.S. Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock

More Cabaret

Class, Sass, and a Lot of Ass

Book Lovers Buffet

Load Up - You Won't Gain a Pound!


Ideas about English, Drama and ICT in the classroom, as well as some broader musings

readful things blog

The search for meaning, one page at a time

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Body Rebooted

On the road to optimal health!