Sometimes I feel like I’m a villain when I’m with my friends. They spill their problems and worries, ask for advice, and I tell them what they don’t want to hear. 9 times out of 10, I will tell you to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. 9 times out of 10, I will tell you “That really sucks, but this is one of those times you need to pull yourself together and man up.” I focus on the weakness in their relationship, deem it unworthy in my own eyes, and tell them it’s over.
In a way, you could call it tough love. But as the person doling out what people don’t want to hear but need to hear, it gets me a little down sometimes. I start wondering, why does it seem like everyone’s in a shitty relationship? Why does it seem like everyone is making bad choices? But hey, I’ve been there too, so logically I do know the answer. It’s just hard to see things objectively when you’re the one in the shitty relationship and the shitty-but-easily-escapable situation. And thankfully, I too have friends who can be a villain and tell me the hard truths I need to hear.
What’s really rare, though…is when a friend actually TAKES this advice! When they actually do break up with their significant other. When they face the hard truth and deal with it. It so rarely happens. And even rarer than that, a virtual unicorn, is the “thank you” that may come afterwards.
Recently, a coworker of mine went through a breakup while we were rushing at work. I have no idea how he even got work finished because if I were in his situation, I’d just shut down and not be productive. He vented to me about his relationship, about what he loved about his girlfriend, about what he hated. And what does a villainous friend do? The villainous friend latches on to the bad stuff and slings it back to her coworker’s face, in full fury. It was clear to me that they weren’t compatible on a fundamental level, and I tried my best to make it clear to him, too. Two big red flags for me: she was uncreative but constantly complained that she wanted to do something about it (So why not just do it? Huge personal pet peeve), she constantly talked about “the ex” and how much better he was. At what, I can only imagine. But HEY EVERYONE….You’re only allowed to compare your ex to your current boyfriend if it makes your current boyfriend look awesome in comparison!! What the hell kind of bitch will say their ex was better at x y z? A soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend kind of bitch! I had no guilt in persuading my coworker that it’s great that his relationship is exploding.
“You dodged a bullet,” I told him.
Days later, whenever my coworker would feel the urge to try and break their “no contact” agreement, he remembered those words. I really don’t feel that I said all that much, and we weren’t very close beforehand. But the fact that he latched on to those words meant, to me, that breaking up was the right choice for him. He knew deep down that it wasn’t working out, he just needed a 3rd party to let him know: you’re not crazy for thinking that. Throughout January, she would ring his phone, an attempt to break no-contact even though she imposed it herself. He’d tilt his phone towards me, and I’d shake my head. My coworker would turn the phone face down and get back to work.
Well, we’ve come this far. I may as well brag some more, as he is one of the few people who listened to me when I was the devil on his shoulder. Most people ask for my advice and don’t take a word of it, so this felt GREAT :D I’ve probably told everyone I’ve ever met to break up. Your relationship shouldn’t be a chore, you should light up when talking about that special person in your life. Despite how often I say this, I feel it’s true every time. Most relationships just suck. Anyway! My coworker had also hurt his leg two years ago; it still aches and he never got it looked at. So what do I do but bully him in to calling a PT NOW, not later once he does other errands, but he needed to make that appointment on the phone NOW.
Couple days later, which is today, I got a message on my phone. “Thanks again for the push. Day one was eye opening for my leg. Alot learned and quite hopeful actually.”
Left a smile on my face :)