This week I want to address something that I’d never thought much about previously, but is a very important topic nonetheless. This article has come to fruition in light of the most recent round of Confessions in the Owl post. Two confessions in particular held Mr. Amortentia’s interest. You may know already what they are.
“She’s too good for you. If you hurt a hair on her head, we will end you.”
“She is manipulative and mean. I don’t understand how you can be interested in her!”
Doubtless the people who confessed this, feel that they are good friends to the people they care about, and as a general rule they probably are. We all do our best to give our friends love and care, and because we love them and care for them, we often feel the need to protect them. But sometimes, when we want to protect someone, we can forget some important things. We may find ourselves thinking, ‘I know what’s best for them’ or ‘It’s for their own good.’ But in doing so, we may begin to step on the feelings of our friends, cause them undue stress, and even more harm than good. I hope that whomever wrote these confessions, left them as confessions only, and this is what leads us into our topic for this week:
How to handle your friends’ relationships.
These were confessions, so maybe they never told their friends what they feel. But there are many who do, and let’s examine what happens when people DO do things like threaten their friends’ love interests, or talk about how ‘bad’ they are or ‘bad for’ them they are.
First of all, when you belittle and/or threaten someone who is dating your friend, you instantly create bad blood between yourself and the Significant Other. Doing so creates tension between you, and if you think your friend can’t sense that, you’re dead wrong. Doing this puts your friend in a truly awful position. They will feel mentally and emotionally torn between their loyalty to their friends, and their affection toward their S.O. This is a terrible place to be, and will cause your friend nothing but stress and turmoil, which YOU have created. Suddenly now, you have become the very thing that you wanted to protect your friend from with your words – the cause of a source of pain. This is of course, easily avoided if you simply keep your thoughts to yourself.
“But Mr. Amortentia, the person they’re interested in really IS no good for them / awful!”
‘Love is blind’, is an old phrase that nearly everyone has heard. It’s true, and it applies to every relationship. It is actually a scientific fact that people who are infatuated with one another literally produce chemicals in their brain that prevent them from observing the flaws of the object of their affection, or if they can see them, they brush them off as no big deal, or something ‘quirky’ rather than ‘awful’. Sometimes, our friends will chose to date people that we disapprove of. They will see something in that person that you simply cannot, but it’s not always because of their ‘rose tinted glasses’. Something we also need to keep in mind, is that we are not omnipotent. What we see of a person, especially one that we are not close to ourselves, will never be all there is to them. The confessions above are common reactions in a lot of friends. We choose our friends because we see in them traits that we value, and build strong bonds. Because of that, it’s easy, very easy, to see our friends as special, wonderful, and amazing. Others will pale in comparison, and if you really think about it, no one is ever going to be good enough for your bestie, not unless they meet specific qualifications that you have in mind. But that’s the thing. What YOU have in mind for your friend, the qualities YOU value, may not be the same qualities that your friend is looking for in a romantic interest. When you look at someone your friend has chosen, you are judging them based on the standards you have in mind for someone ‘good enough’ for your friend. Maybe you look at a person and think, ‘they aren’t good looking enough’, ‘they’re too lazy’, ‘they can’t protect her’, ‘they’re too mean’. Your friend, however, may be looking at that person from a totally different perspective. ‘They’re so funny,’ ‘They’re so clever,’ ‘They’re so good looking,’ – because, yes, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder – ‘They believe in me’, ‘They are rough around the edges but they have a good heart.’ Not only is your friend assessing a person based upon their own set of factors, because they are closer to this other person, they may know things about them that you do not, and that is very important to keep in mind. Maybe their S.O. really is just piece of dragon dung. If that is truly the case, then you really don’t need to worry to begin with. The nice thing about the human brain is that, although those chemicals are in effect during the infatuation stage, they do wear off, and hopefully quickly. If the partner you disapprove of for your friend really is just awful, then when the ‘rose tinted glasses’ come off, your friend will see that as much as you do, and they will go from there – ‘When/How to Break Up’ will be a future Mr. Amortentia article – and you will be there to console them, because you are a good friend.
There is one final advantage to keeping your trap shut. If you don’t threaten your friend’s S.O. ahead of time and they do hurt them, well.. they won’t see it coming, now will they? Not that Mr. Amortentia advocates violence/revenge, of course.