Hello, amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women! And welcome Donita, our newest member. If I’ve missed anyone please let Hannah and me know in a comment.
So, how are you liking the Friendship Flubs series? Is it helping? Some of you, like Rebekah, have asked questions about some FF problems we haven’t covered yet and we appreciate that. Now we know what topics you want to hear about — and we’re on it.
TODAY we’re going to talk about The Mind Reading Game. You know the one …
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE:
This is when friends expect each other to know what they’re thinking and feeling without having to say anything. It’s like being best friends means you can see into each other’s brains.
EXAMPLE: You and your friend are having lunch at school. Everything is going great, and then all of a sudden she stops talking to you. You ask what’s going on but all she’ll say is, “You know what you did.” You sort through your entire brain trying to figure out what the Sam Hill she’s talking about. You ask again. You beg. Then you yell, and she yells back, “You took my cupcake!” But you didn’t take her cupcake. Some absurd little creep boy did, and he’s been laughing the whole time. Your friend wasted a whole afternoon over THAT.
WHAT IT ISN’T: Close friends can sometimes finish each other’s sentences, but a REAL friend should be able to come right out and says she’s mad or upset and why. Especially if YOU have made it safe for her to say what she needs to without worrying you’ll pinch her head off. If your friend can’t read YOUR mind, it definitely isn’t a reason NOT to be friends. Besides, do we WANT people to know everything we’re thinking? That’s a little scary!
WHAT HAPPENS BECAUSE OF IT:
Friends who fall into the mind-reading trap can make big holes in their friendships instead of talking things out. One friend ends up telling everybody ELSE what she’s mad about EXCEPT for the one person who actually needs to know. And as for, “If you don’t know then you’re not really my friend!” … that’s going to take you nowhere you want to go.
HOW TO FIX IT:
Here are some steps that might help you:
(1) Decide you’re not going to expect your friend to know what’s bothering you. You can’t read HER mind, so why do you think she can read yours?
(2) If your friend has hurt your feelings or she’s getting on your last nerve, be honest with her. You don’t have to yell. Just say it the way you would want her to say it to you.
(3) Don’t share your issues with her to everybody else on the planet — or even one or two other people. She’s the only one who needs to hear about it, unless you want to run it by an adult you trust first.
(4) If your friend expects you to read HER mind, remind her that’s not one of your many talents. Assure her you’re not going to blow up in her face when she tells you what’s wrong. And then , of course, DON’T blow up!
(5) Make a pledge with your friends that you’re always going to try to work things out.
NICOLE: Are you made at me?
JENNA: Yeah, kinda.
NICOLE: I wish you woulda said somethin.’ What’s up?
JENNA: When you told Abby I was spoiled because I’m an only child, it made it sound like I’m a brat. And I’m NOT!
NICOLE: I’m sorry. I was just kidding
JENNA: Yeah, but it wasn’t funny. It hurt my feelings.
NICOLE: I’ll never do it again. I promise.
JENNA: Um, do you really think I’m spoiled?
NICOLE: NO! I just got jealous because you got a phone and there’s too many kids in my family for me to have one. Do you hate me?
JENNA: Hellooo! You’re my best friend!
GOT GOD? Jesus is pretty clear on this. In Matthew 18: 15, he says, “If a fellow (which means anybody you love) hurts you, go and tell him — work it out, between the two of you.” (The Message) Can’t argue with that.
TALKING TO GOD JOURNAL: But you CAN pour it all out to God. The hurt you’re afraid to bring up with your friend because she might say you’re a total baby and need to get over it. The silent treatment your BFF is giving you and you don’t know why. God wants to hear all of it.
COMMENT: And we’d like to hear some of it. If you want to post a comment tell us which you tend to be — the one who holds back and hopes your friend will get it, or the one who’s always trying to figure out what is going ON with your CFF. And of course we want to know if this post has helped you. Because, well — we can’t read your minds!
Blessings, Nancy Rue
Hello my precious Tribelet of Mini-makers. Tomorrow I’m having some surgery. It’s nothing serious — I’ll be FINE — but it has taken a lot of preparation to get ready.
I didn’t want to rush through the April Mini-Makers post. It’s way too important for me to do a hurry-up job. So this time, you’ll see it in May, when I’m back to my desk.
You WILL have your regular posts, though, thanks to Hannah. Let’s hear it for that amazing lady.
Blessings and love —
Hello Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Okay, a question right off the bat: what is better on earth than having friends? Okay, maybe eating chocolate … although chocolate is gone in a matter of seconds, and friends last forever. That’s why we all them CFFs, right? (Close Friends Forever)
But DO they last for all time? Um, not always, and sometimes that’s because of Friendship Flubs. They’re those things that happen between girlfriends that go like this:
1. It starts off as just irritating. AnNOYing
2. Then it really begins to get on your last nerve (as we say here in the South)
3. One or both of you gets pretty sick of it
4. You aren’t enjoying each other any more (like, you want that chick to just HUSH UP!)
5. Your friendship shrivels up and goes away — or it comes to a Drama Queen end
But it doesn’t have to happen that way. And if we learn how to fix those Friendship Flubs before they start driving us nuts, those girlfriends of ours will stick around a whole lot longer. You really CAN end up being roommates in college.
In this new series, Hannah and I are going to talk with you about 6 different Flubs, and we’ll do it this way:
* What the Flub looks like
* What happens because of it
* How to fix it
* Got God? (How the Bible’s teachings give us answers)
So what do you say we get started with — wait for it —-
THE RUMOR TUMOR
WHAT THE RUMOR TUMOR LOOKS LIKE:
“I heard that she …” “I don’t know if this is true but I kind of think it is …” “Okay, A told me that B told her that she actually saw C …” “You are not going to believe …”
Everybody leans in to hear — and the teller is the center of attention, which feels pretty good. This is the third, fourth, or fifth time it’s been told so the rumor has grown … like a tumor. It might have started out as something true, a little bit true, or just a big fat lie. But by the time it spreads, it’s totally false. And usually hurtful to the person it’s about.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A RUMOR TUMOR SPREADS?
* Lies are told (never a good thing)
* Feelings get hurt
* The girl being talked about gets a reputation she doesn’t deserve
* People refuse to believe it ISN’T true even when it’s proven to be false
* Girls have actually had to CHANGE SCHOOLS OR CHURCHES because of rumors spread about them … by their own friends.
HOW TO FIX IT
Step One — Find out if the “news” is true. How? Ask the person who’s being talk about, of course. She’s the only one who really knows if she’s actually being suspended for cheating. Or just use common sense. “Madison’s mother has been married 16 times?” Really?
Step Two — If the answer is “No, it isn’t true,” STOP IT RIGHT THERE. Refuse to breathe another word about it. If other people are discussing it (growing it) bring out your one-liner: “Hey, has anybody seen anything purple today?” Or simply say, “Are you serious? That is so not true!”
Step Three — If the answer is “Yes, it’s true,” ask yourself, “Will it help the person being talked about if I tell this to someone else?”
*If no, it wouldn’t help, STOP IT RIGHT THERE. Just because Cassidy actually DOES have 6 toes on each foot doesn’t mean you need to tell everybody and their brother. Why embarrass her? Right?
*If yes, it would help to tell someone, TELL THE RIGHT PERSON. Not everybody in the entire sixth grade class. Not even your other CFFs. Tell the person who could actually help Ashley who has stopped eating, or Shelby who’s really depressed because her parents are fighting. We’re talking a counselor or your mom.
I can hear you now: Isn’t that tattling? Actually, no. TATTLING is used to get somebody IN trouble. TELLING (reporting) is used to get somebody OUT of trouble. Telling the right person isn’t like, “Katie is always picking her no-ose.” (think kindergarten). It’s like, “Abby cries in the bathroom everyday before school and she won’t tell us what’s wrong and we’re worried about her.”
In case all of that is confusing, this diagram might help:
Got God? “It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can … set the whole world up in smoke.” (James 3, The Message)
Let’s get out those TALKING TO GOD JOURNALS and pour out where we are with the Rumor Tumor. Is there some asking for forgiveness that needs to happen?
Do you need help being strong enough not to join in when a rumor tumor is being fed? Do you need some God-comfort because people are saying stuff about YOU? Spill it. God hears. God helps.
If you want to post a comment, and we hope you do, tell us which part of the Rumor Tumor diagram is the hardest for you to do? Stop entering into the gossip? Bring up another topic? Tell someone who can help? Refuse to believe juicy things that really are ridiculous? Share, so we can all pray for each other. And so Hannah and I can help in our comments to YOU.
And don’t forget that stories pictures, photos and poems for Mini-Makers need to be in my email in-box by April 17!
Hello, Tribelet of Amazing Mini-Women! Guess what I got to do last weekend?
I MET OUR HANNAH FACE TO FACE!
We’ve been working together for a while, but Sunday was the first time we ever saw each other for real. AND it was in Philadelphia (that’s Independence Hall in the background) because I happened to be there and she needed to do research for her book (which you are going to love) so it all unfolded perfectly.
And by the way, she is just as wonderful in person as she is here on the blog.
From the very start of our day together, we helped each other. I was hobbling around on a hurt foot, so Hannah slowed down her pace and was all, “Are you okay to walk this far?” She had never taken a taxi cab before so I showed her how to hail one. She didn’t have a camera so I took pictures for her to use as she continues to put together her story. I needed help with blog things for when I’m having an operation on that hurt foot and she was all over it.
That’s what good friends do, right? They’re there for each other.
Yeah, well, that’s easy to say — but not always easy to do. “Being there” for your friends means ALL of the following:
* Doing more of the work when she can’t do her share.
Like if you’re working on a school project together and she has a big fight with her dad and she’s upset and can’t finish her part and you pitch in. That’s what I mean.
* Listening — really listening — when she needs to pour her heart out. We talked about that last week, and THIRZAH’S comment about it works perfectly here: “Some friends need a 5-minute-the-world-is-over-because-this-happened-to-me-pity-party.” You don’t have to fix her. You just need to hear her.
* Not abandoning her when what she’s going through takes a long time. If the boy she has a crush on blows her off, she’ll probably get over it pretty fast, especially with you there to throw that five-minute pity party. But if her parents get a divorce or her mom is really sick, healing is going to take some time. She needs that time from you.
* Sticking by her when she’s in trouble. If her reason for being in a bad place is her own fault, it would be easy to say, “Girl, you brought this on yourself,” and walk away. A good friend says, “Yeah, you cheated and now you’re getting an F, but I still love you. Want me to help you study?”
* Understanding when her problems are making her pretty hard to get along with right now. We’re not talking door mat here. If a friend is rude and mean because her parents have announced that the family is moving, well, that’s not okay and you need to call her on it. But if she’s a little snippy and tearful and doesn’t pay as much attention to what you’re saying for a little while, cut her some slack.
If you really imagine yourself doing ALL of that for a friend who’s in the middle of a mess, it might be hard to picture. That’s because:
* We want to have fun. We don’t want to be stuck in the middle of somebody’s gloom, even if that somebody is our CFF (Close Friend Forever)
* We’re fine with it for a while, but eventually it’s human nature to want to say, “OH, get over it!”
* And as humans we can be selfish, and so we want to share what’s going on with US because, seriously, she’s getting all the attention.
* We don’t really know what to do to help. You’re a mini-woman, not a mini-therapist.
Basically, it’s easier to put some distance between you and your sad friend until she gets her act together and you can go back to giggling and hanging out. Back in the olden days — really, even before I was a tween (which was a very long time ago!) they used to call that kind of person a “Fair Weather Friend” …
CHALLENGE: SEE IF YOU CAN FIND OUT WHERE THAT EXPRESSION COMES FROM.
What it MEANS is that when everything is all sunshine and laughing and running around being crazy, you’re the best friend your CFF ever had. But when things turn stormy for her and she’s crying and crushed and needs somebody to comfort her, you’re out of there.
I don’t think any of you, my precious Mini-Women, are totally Fair Weather Friends. But we can all be guilty of a little running the other way when somebody’s bummed out. So let’s consider two things:
(1) GOOD friends take the downs as well as the ups in their pals. Who knows? You may be the next one with a broken arm or a D in math or another friendship that goes sour. Don’t you want your CFFs to be there for YOU? Jesus said it clearly: treat other people the way you want them to treat you. It doesn’t get any plainer than that.
(2) Again, though, that doesn’t mean be a door mat or a martyr. If your friend is treating you badly because she’s going through a bad time, it’s okay to call her on it. It’s as simple as saying, “Look, I’m here for you, but I didn’t do this to you, so please don’t take it out on me.” (That’s turning the other cheek, another Jesus-lesson) If what’s happening with her is affecting your grades, your home life or all your other friendships, talk to an adult you trust about how to sort that out. You can’t help your friend if you’re going down WITH her.
Let’s grab those Talking To God Journals and share with God what’s going on with your friends right now. Is anybody struggling? Ask God to help you help her. Is anyone wallowing? Get God’s guidance on whether to pull her out of the quicksand or tell her it’s time to snap out of it. Admit to God if you’re pretty sick of everybody’s problems! The important thing is to be honest.
If you want to make a comment on this post — and we hope you do — tell us two things, will you?
(1) Which of these best describes YOU when you have a friend who’s dealing with hard stuff?
A — I’m All In (you’ll do anything to help a friend, no matter what … even if it might not be good for you)
B — Depends On the Friend (you’re all in for your besties, but not so much with the friends who ALWAYS seem to have a problem or love the drama)
C — I Got Nothin’ (you’d really like to help, but you don’t always know how; it’s kind of scary when people have issues)
(2) Has there ever been a time you fled the scene when a friend needed you? How would you handle that differently now? (HINT: STEP ONE IS ALWAYS “ASK GOD WHAT TO DO.”)
One thing is for sure … Hannah and I are always here for you, no matter what is making your life miserable. You can ask questions in your comments or you can email me. We’re your friends in any kind of weather!
Hi Mini-Women! Hannah here. I am loving this series on friendship, and today’s topic is no different:
BEING A GOOD LISTENER.
We’ve all been around someone who isn’t a good listener (maybe it’s you, but we’ll talk about that in a minute). It can be really annoying and even hurtful when someone doesn’t hear what you have to say. How about it? You pour out your heart — about how you are scared about your next test in math, or how you don’t like the clothes you have to wear, or how someone in your family was mean to you at the last holiday gathering — and the person you’re talking to…well they aren’t listening, are they?
You know they aren’t because they usually say something like –
“Oh yeah that happened to me but it was way worse. Let me tell you about my story!”
“Sorry ‘bout that. That sounds rough. Hey, where do you want meet up later to study?”
Or my favorite –
Right. Because saying “stop worrying” always makes you stop worrying. How ‘bout it, Mini-Women?
Anyway, we know how sad responses like that can make us. Everyone wants to feel loved and listened to. We can’t change our friends – but we CAN change ourselves, especially when it comes to being the Listener.
When our friends come to us with a problem, first of all, we should feel honored. We are the people they choose to reach out to and say, “I’m sinking here, and I think you could throw me a life preserver! Help me out, would ya?” We are their source of comfort and we should take that seriously. We’re the person God is using to come to their rescue.
Let’s hear what James in the Bible had to say about listening.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
(Side note: When it comes to good advice, check out the book of James in the Bible. I read that book constantly. I feel like he would have been a great guy to just chat about life with. He’d probably be a great listener! Anyway, back to the post.)
Being “quick to listen” means really hearing why they’re scared in math, or why they hate their dorky clothes, or why their family member may have been mean. We don’t need to jump right in with our example. Maybe later we can, but not right away. Right away makes it look like we’re just straining for them to finish so we can talk about ourselves. And we all know that’s kinda selfish and no one really likes a selfish friend. Maybe we will never get a chance to share our example, and that’s all right. James says be slow to speak. And I like that advice.
If you’re reading this and thinking that maybe you are the bad listener friend – it’s okay! That’s why we’re all here – to learn how to be better friends.
Just keep this in mind the next time your friends come to you – show interest in THEM. Not in your own story, not in moving on to the next topic, not in telling them not to worry.
Really listen to their fears and problems and show interest in what they have to say.
Repeat some details back to them to make sure you’ve got the story right.
Offer to pray with them right then and there, and definitely assure them that this problem is going right into your Talking to God journal!
Speaking of your journal, this would be a good time to explore with God what kind of listener you are. Confess to the times recently when you wanted somebody to hurry up and finish what they were saying so you could talk about YOU.
Complain about the friends whose eyes glaze over when it’s your turn. Ask for help with being quicker to listen – and not just hear but actually CARE. As always, once you’ve poured it all out to God, answers will start to come to you. It’s amazing.
If you want to post a comment, (1) tell us which of these best describes you –
I’M ALL EARS (you listen a lot more than you talk)
I’M ALL MOUTH (you like to talk to your friends and maybe you don’t listen as often as you could)
I’M SOME OF BOTH, BUT I LEAN MORE TOWARD ____________________
And (2) what’s your prayer about that, in your own words (for example, “God? Please help me to stop being a jabber jaws!”)
Love you girls!
Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Thanks for being so patient in waiting for this next post in our How To Be an Awesome Friend series. AND for your great, encouraging comments on last week’s Mini-Makers post. I’m already getting entries for April’s Showcase. Yeah, you all rock.
Now on to TODAY’S post . . .
Y’know, I don’t know when it happened, but somehow being snarky has become the new cool. You get what I mean, right?
People on TV and the radio and the Internet think it’s just hilarious to put people down — even for the smallest things. They make fun of everything from the outfits stars wear at Awards shows to a Senator stumbling over a word in a speech.
Kids will say anything as long as THEY think it’s funny — no matter how it might make the other person feel. YOU: I read Anne of Green Gables for the third time this weekend! FRIEND: Why? OTHER FRIEND: You really need to get a life.
Even in our own families we think being sarcastic for the sake of getting a laugh is perfectly fine:
SISTER: I got an A on my math test!
YOU: What do you want, a parade?
We call that being snarky — and here’s the deal with it: it’s NOT funny to the person receiving it. No matter how many giggles and snickers you get out of everybody else, that friend who’s just been told she looks like she has a bird’s nest on her head (when she was going for a messy bun) is not laughing, at least not on the inside.
All you have to do to get my drift here is think about the last time a friend (or one of your siblings) said something super sarcastic to you. Whatcha got going on with your hair? (when you just spent an hour trying to French braid it) Do us all a favor, bestie. Don’t sing. (when everybody’s joining in on a chorus of “Beauty and the Beast on the way home from the movies) Man, it stung, didn’t it?
That’s not because you’re too sensitive
And it’s not because you can’t take a joke
And it definitely isn’t because you don’t have a sense of humor
IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE A HUMAN BEING, AND THAT STUFF HURTS.
So why, oh why do we do it to the people we love the most?
We love the laughter.
We like feeling smart.
It makes us feel trendy and teenagery and cool
But is it really worth it when it hurts people’s feelings, makes them think they’re not as with it as you are? Besides, just because you can come up with smarty-pants comments doesn’t mean you’re smart or cool or grown up.
It means you’re not a very good friend at that moment.
So how do we break the snark habit? Here are a few things that help me — because, yes, I can whip out my rapier wit with the best of them. (If you don’t know what rapier means, you might look it up and share with us what you find)
(1) Apologize to the people you’ve been snarky with and tell them you’re trying to curb your snark bark (Sorry — I couldn’t resist that). I know I can be pretty rough with my, um, humor, and I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. I’m really working on it. And I DO think you’re awesome.
(2) Come up with more positive ways to use your quick mind. Instead of Aren’t you afraid the swallows are going to lay their eggs in your hair? You might go with I like that bun thing you have going on. Don’t change a thing.
(3) Refuse to join in when other people are doing the snark thing. That doesn’t mean correct everybody; you don’t have to be the sarcasm police. Just make it clear YOU aren’t going to do it.
OTHER FRIENDS: Ashley, are you going to tell us another story about your cat? I just want to know so I can plan my nap.
YOU: Yikes, Ashley, this is a tough crowd. So, tell me about Fluffy.
(4) If you aren’t sure if what you’re doing is snarky, think about whether you’d say those things to your parents. I’ll give you an example. The other day my daughter was saying she was really anxious as a child, and my granddaughter (HER daughter) said, “What a shock.” Funny, but did she get away with that with her mom? Uh, no. Not appropriate with Mama. Not appropriate with anyone else either.
(5) And of COURSE talk to God about it. None of us can change a bad habit alone, especially when that habit gets you attention and laughs and makes you feel better-than. In your Talking to God Journal, write down all the examples of snarky-ness you’ve noticed among your friends and siblings lately. Ask for God’s help not just to stop, but to be more deliciously positive in the way you talk to everybody.
If you want to post a comment — and we hope you do — tell us where you fall on the Snark Scale:
1 — I don’t have this problem because I can never think of anything funny/sarcastic to say.
2 — I can come up with snarky things in my head but I don’t say them.
3 — I’m only snarky talking about other people, not my friends. We sort of trash people who can’t hear us.
4 — The snarky stuff just pops into my head and before I can stop it, it comes out of my mouth. I have to admit, it sort of feels good.
Since you were so patient waiting for THIS post, you get another one this Wednesday, from Hannah. She’s going to talk about being a better listening friend — so get your ears on. See you then.