I bet most of us have been in the position of overhearing gossip and knowing more than most, but keeping quiet.
When I was working in the bank, it was surprising the number of conversations which would stop in mid sentence should I come into close proximity, purely because I was a friend of the person they were discussing.
We used to go out for the occasional lunch or have a meal in each other’s homes (visitor took the pud) once a month or so, but we weren’t exactly what I’d term bosom buddies.
Imagine my surprise then to overhear the rumour that she had got her promotion by sleeping with the boss, and this was fuelled by an expenses claim for only one hotel room when they went on a course together .
I like a bit of gossip as much as the next person, but it’s a bit different when it’s someone you know/like/are friendly with or even better (or worse) actually YOU! I was the subject once and found it hysterically funny, especially putting the rumour starter in her place in front of her friends.
Friendship to me is important. We know a lot of people, but for us it’s not a given that an acquaintance is automatically considered a friend.
Hubby and I also agree it is not our place to join in discussions about friends, but it is quite amazing how speculation, word phraseology and a change in circumstances can generate such a variety of misrepresentation.
I’ll refer back to this post, and you’ll see what I mean.
I would like to consider myself a true friend. I may stand on the sidelines, but can usually pick up on certain things and I’m always ready to offer a shoulder or a friendly ear.
We all have our troubles, and sometimes confiding in someone outside the home is better than trying to express oneself within it and getting into yet another argument.
Outsiders may also see more than the cocoon of discontent, and a different perspective welcomed to realise that maybe all is not lost or that things will never change and it’s time to go in a different direction.
Of course opinions may not be warmly received, in which case friendships disintegrate or terminate altogether and lead to divided loyalties. I had this when I divorced, and soon lost touch with the circle of friends we’d made as a couple.
Watching friends go through similar bad patches is difficult, especially if one has been a complete idiot and thrown everything away. It makes you want to grab them by the scruff of the neck and give them a good shake, but perhaps watching the after effects of their stupidity, listening to their moans and groans about the inconvenience and cost of change and having absolutely no sympathy, has its own reward for the onlooker.