How You Can Stay With a Friend Who Acts Stupid

Kathy: Have you ever been with a friend and all of a sudden they turn “stupid”? I have! Everything is going just fine, at least that’s how it seems, and you’re having a fun time. Then wham! Somebody does something that messes everything up. It reminds me of when Linda and I are playing tennis. Volleying back and forth without any mistakes is fun to the max. But then when one of us misses, it interrupts the play. Sometimes it’s me and sometimes it’s her who hits the ball into the net or out of bounds. No one wants to miss. We want to keep the game going strong.

Linda: Kathy taught me how to play tennis years ago (well, she sorta taught me how to play ;). In my “beginner days” I had no control of the ball. Whacking it hard and blasting it over the fence was a normal occurrence. We wasted a lot of time retrieving balls. She spent more time running after balls than she did volleying with me because I didn’t know how to play. I’m so glad she didn’t give up on me. It would have been easier for her to find a more experienced player than to patiently hang in there till I learned how to volley.

Friendship seems similar to the game of tennis. You want to stay in the game, keep the ball in motion and better yet win. But when you’re with “Stupid” it’s hard to keep the ball in play; both in tennis and in friendship. (Because you probably want to just give up and quit.) Longer volleys on the court and in friendship require two valuable things.

Let us show you two ways you can deal with a friend who acts “Stupid” and still keep your friendship going.

1. Staying in the game.

Kathy: It was worth it; worth chasing the balls to play the game with my friend. If I had given up, we probably wouldn’t be playing tennis as regularly as we do today. The more we stay in the game, the more volleying, the more fun. Better yet, the volleying gets longer and longer.

Staying in the friendship is a must if you want to win at friendship. The more you play, the better you get at the game of friendship. The very idea of sticking together gives you opportunity to work through the stupid stuff. So have a heart to stay in the game.

2. Sharpening your skills.

Linda: Now that I have been playing tennis for over 10 years, I sometimes beat her little hind end! Not always, but sometimes! And that’s because I have learned new skills. I no longer whack the ball over the fence (unless I’m ticked off). I can even serve on the first try! 😉 But here’s the thing, you HAVE to KEEP playing in order to sharpen your skills.

Tennis pros don’t quit when they mess up. They keep at it so they can sharpen their skills and learn new ones that make them even better. They practice, practice, practice! This is true in the game of friendship as well. You must practice the skills that make you a good friend.

If you need to learn some new skills that will help you win in your friendship, check out some of these resources.

If you need help communicating, We recommend Dr. Phil McGraw’s book, Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner

If you need new skills in handling anger, this is a great read, by Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way

If you need help crafting an apology, we suggest, The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in all Your Relationships, by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas.

If you need help working through forgiveness, consider this book, Forgiveness…the Ultimate Miracle (Fortune, Family & Faith Series) by Paul J. Meyer.

If you need help in handling conflict, this is a classic by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries Face to Face: How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding

When your friend suddenly turns “stupid” on you, remember these two things:

Staying in the game and learning new skills will give you a friendship that lasts like a long volley.


~ by thefriendshipdoctors on July 8, 2011.

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