Dealing with Conflicting Positions
I have received contradictory messages from a “so called friend” of mine on more than one occasion. I was about seven years of age when I started taking art class from a local teacher. I was new to the class, as were many others. One of the students in particular wanted to be my friend. I was excited that someone wanted to be my friend, because in truth, I didn’t have many.
My new friend was very nice; she always saved me a seat and talked to me about various things— mostly about art. As my friend and I started to advance in the class and deal with oil pastels and charcoal— all that fancy stuff—the girl I thought was my “friend” started to let her "true" self shine. Obviously the pressure to be like some of the kids in the class began to influence her actions. There is one day in particular that I remember very well. I was focusing on finishing my oil pastel of a tropical island when my friend began to insult me and my art.
Now, I wasn’t the most popular student in the class, nor was I the most talented either. I was already being picked on by another girl who thought she had talent—but to hear someone whom I “thought” was my friend, insult me and my artwork—that really hurt me. About a year and a half into the class, my “friend” continued to insult me and my art. I kept silent, ignoring her, hoping she’d stop. But I was scarred that if I told her how I felt, she wouldn’t be my friend anymore.
My interest in the art class quickly faded. Sometimes, the insults were too much to bare. I would want to cry during art class, but held the tears in until I got into my mom’s van. I felt betrayed. Close to the end of my year in art class, I decided I couldn’t take anymore of my “friends” sly remarks and insults, so I moved to another seat beside two girls I knew wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
(This was my way of getting back at her! Ya see how that worked).
Overall, my friendship with the girl resulted in a collection of mixed messages and emotions. Did I do something wrong? Why was she being so mean to me, when all I have done is been nice to her? Those questions I have never been able to answer; I probably don’t want to find out. My view on this situation in my life isn’t what I would call positive, nor was it taken lightly. It has taken me quiet a few years to come around and forgive my so-called “friend.”
Slowly, I am changing my hateful position, as I realize all of my pain could have been avoided had I taken a stand and spoke up for myself—so, it’s partially my fault for letting her treat my in such a terrible manner. I know now that sometimes you can’t be silent. There are just some instances that you just can’t ignore. No matter what you do about your situation, it’s still going to hurt.
But if you let your friend know, then maybe they’ll stop to think about what they say. If they rub it off like it's no big deal, then they aren't worth it. Don't let people ruin your dreams. Stand up for yourself and let them know how you wish to be treated. Sometimes, being stern and not afraid to speak up does more good than harm. Don't be afraid like I was.