Hate’s A Strong Word, But…

I don’t like to hate people. And I also don’t really like to gossip, because it just makes me feel bad. But I’m going to make an exception today. Except that I’m not going to mention names, it’s going to be a generalized post, so does that count as gossip? I don’t think so.


You know how they say that the longer you know a person, the more their personality influences your perception of their physical looks? For instance, if you meet a less-than-attractive person who is extremely sweet and bubbly, they instantly become so much better looking, and vice versa. It’s that inner beauty shining through, or in the case I’m referring to right now, the utter lack of inner beauty that shines through.

So there’s this girl I know, and she’s not the nicest person. I’ve stuck by her side, being her friend though. I mean, everyone else thinks she’s a rude word that I’m not going to say, so she really doesn’t have any other friends. Me, being the kind of person I am, I decided that I’d be there for her because I think everyone deserves a friend.

But then she stabbed me in the back, probably more times than I can count. And I’m talking big time, like starting a horrible rumor about me that lasted for three years, insulting me behind my back almost constantly, calling me her “heavier” friend (note: I’m not even remotely close to overweight, so who even knows where that comment came from), and insulting my family. It’s one thing to start rumors and insult me, but it’s entirely another to call my siblings names. That’s a big no-no in my book. But still, after everything she did to me, every time I was in tears trying to figure out what to do about her, I stuck by her. Because I’m a forgiving person, and everyone deserves a second chance. And a third chance. And a fourth chance. And a fifth chance, and so on.  And for some crazy reason, I thought that maybe, just maybe, she’d see that she was in the wrong and change. 

After a while of being good friends with her, I went downhill. I started gossiping, starting rumors, telling lies, and insulting people, just because that’s what she did. I for some reason thought that everyone loved her and that they’d all love me if I acted like her. (Again, back to my post ‘Perfection where I mentioned that I’ve always cared too much what others thought about me.) She and I were the same. We were just as bad as one another. The only difference was that my conscious ate at me. I stayed awake at night trying to figure out why I was doing those things. I zoned out in class after being rude to someone, asking myself what made me do that. And then it hit me–once I was around her so long, she influenced my behavior.  As much as I had previously thought that I could change her for the better, that’s not what happened at all. That plan never works, whether it’s a friendship or a relationship, the good always turns bad if they’re in it too long.

So I told myself I was done with that ridiculous behavior. I was going to go back to my natural, nice self. A friend of mine was actually the catalyst for my decision to change when he asked, “when did you get so mean?” And he then proceeded to shake his head in disappointment and walk away. We haven’t really been friends ever since, though I’ve been slowly patching up that relationship. It hurt a lot to know that my behavior did me no good and in fact earned me the reputation of a, well, you know what word to insert here.

Slowly but surely, I reversed my wrongdoings. I apologized to people. I started smiling and laughing more (now people joke that I never stop laughing) and went back to my easygoing self. And I’m happy. Really happy. Honestly, being nice just puts you in a good mood.

I haven’t talked to the girl I mentioned earlier in almost eight months, and to be honest, I’m perfectly content with my decision to leave our friendship. The bible talks about forgiving someone 7×70 times, and you know what? I forgive her. I’m over what she’s done for the most part. But the bible doesn’t say that we have to keep putting ourselves in situations that can only bring us harm, so I no longer feel obligated to stand by her. If she wants a friend, she can turn to the dozen people who are just as fake and mean as she is that choose to associate with her on occasion.

Here’s the moral of the story: 1) if you’re good, stay away from the bad ones because they always influence you before you get to them, and 2) your reputation is dependent on that of your friends. If they’re known to be mean, you’re going to be known as mean. That’s just how it is.

Well, then. Glad I could share some hopefully enlightening words with you.