p18 alive

Alive November 2016

He Said She Said Dear SSHS, A friend I’ve known for 30 years invited me to a comedy club, where the comedian was vicious, mean, and hurtful. He started attacking people with autism, which caused one woman to leave the show in defense of her autistic son, and this guy was still taunting her as she was leaving. The worst part was that my friend was just laughing away as if this was the funniest and most clever thing she’d ever seen. I never have to see the comedian again, but I wonder now about my friendship with someone who is so entertained at the expense of others. What’s your perspective? — Not Laughing, Walnut Creek She Said: I feel your pain. I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve been offended by her, but one doesn’t just casually toss out a 30-year friendship, right? There is a culture of anger and hate that’s been brewing for a while, and I think it has a lot to do with this election cycle. I have seen more friendships destroyed over differences of opinion in the last year than ever before, with the “how can I be friends with someone who thinks like that?” mentality wreaking havoc on social media, dinner parties and yes, 30-year friendships. I’m with you. I wouldn’t find that kind of demeaning humor funny in the least, and maybe you should have a discussion with your friend and explain how you feel. But perspective is what you asked for so here it is: How many times in 30 years has your friend been a good friend? Add up the kindnesses, shared moments, loyalties, laughter, A L I V E E A S T B A 18 Y n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6 and tears and come up with a percentage of how often she fulfills the role of friend. Is it ninety percent? Ninety-five? Maybe even ninetyeight? So she’s not someone you admire less than ten percent of the time? You can see where I’m going with this. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. It’s worth it to forgive some faults when there’s so much more benefit to the friendship. I think we could all benefit from a little forgiveness right about now. It’s time to start healing. He Said: Good friendships are definitely hard to come by but life is way too short to entertain negative people in your life. First and foremost, your friend needs to know how you feel about this awful experience. You can’t expect your friends to all think and behave the way that you do, but what you can control is who you let into your life and how they ultimately affect you. I agree with Robin that you should analyze your complete friendship with this person and not just that one experience. Ask yourself if your time spent together has been mostly positive or not. I would also take it a step further and look around at the other personal relationships in your life. If you have more positive experiences with other people and you would rather give them more of your time than this friend, I recommend doing that. Remember life is full of sacrifices and all the time you may be spending with this friend that you don’t necessarily agree with could be time spent with friends you have more in common with or better yet, time spent working on yourself. Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host of Conversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn is that guy that everyone goes to for advice. Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com. WITH ROBIN & SHAWN


Alive November 2016
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