The only advice column that spins both sides of the truth.
Q: I love my best friend, but she embarrasses me! She’s always messing with somebody’s man and having sex with different guys. I’ve tried to set her straight, but she won’t listen to me. I’ve lost some friends because of her; they thought that I was a slut because I’m friends with her. I don’t want to stop being her friend, but I don’t want people judging me. What should I do?
Side A: You shouldn’t care about what people think about you, especially when they don’t know you. If people want to stop being your friend only because of your friend’s actions, then let them go. A true friend sees you for who you are and doesn’t define you by the company you keep. It’s impossible to stop people from judging you, so if you truly want to be friends with her, then you’re going to have to learn to ignore those who dislike her and your friendship with her. Also, remember, her choices are just that – her choices. I know that you want to help your friend make safer choices, but sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to lead by example. In other words, let the positive parts of your lifestyle encourage her to change the negative parts of hers.
Side B: They say, “birds of a feather flock together.” I know that’s not a fair opinion of your friendship with her, but it’s one worth taking into consideration. People in our lives can either be a blessing or curse. They can either help or burden us. You should really evaluate your friend’s role in your life because she seems like the type to get you hurt, easily – simply because you’re her friend. And that hurt could be in an emotional (as you’ve experienced by losing friends), physical, or even professional sense. Believe it or not, I’ve seen people lose business deals just because of a person that they know. Maybe, she was just a seasonal friend and it’s time for you to fall back in her life and spring ahead to new friends who are on your level. Perhaps, you need to love her from a distance – until she gets herself together.
Q: My friend is a “singer.” He just finished a new song and he asked me to listen to it. The song is horrible! Well, not the song…but him; he can’t sing! He wants to know what I think of the song, but I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. How can I say how I feel without losing him as a friend?
Side A: Try to find something that you like about the song (for example, the beat) and compliment him on it. It’s more important to be supportive than truthful, in this case. What matters is how you make him feel about his song. He’ll remember that over what you say to him about it.
Side B: Stick to the script! If he asked you about the song itself, then comment on that – and only that. Now, if he asks you about his vocals, then flip the question back on him; ask him what he thinks about his vocals. If he praises himself, then you know he’s delusional and there’s no sense in talking to him about the song. But, if he criticizes himself, then feel free to give him some constructive feedback. Don’t tell him, “You can’t sing!” Instead, say, “I think you should take some lessons to strengthen your vocals.” By doing this, you’ll be expressing your criticism in a respectful way, which will help to maintain your friendship with him.
– About Ms. Boogie: Born a pineapple, bred an apple, and now, a peach, Ms. Boogie currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Besides writing, she also has an interest in radio broadcasting. You can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/joncierrienecker and/or follow her on Twitter @jrienecker.
To submit a question to “On the Beat,” e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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