Friends Without Filters


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Friend's without Filter's

          It is easy to be nice to people who are nice to you. The challenge comes when you run into people who are irritating or just downright rude. It happens every day. Maybe a waitress isn't very friendly or a neighbor ignores you.

          Instead of getting huffy and thinking about ignoring them the next chance you get, try to think about why they may feel that way. Everyone has a bad day occasionally. Oscar the Grouch insulted everyone on Sesame Street, but his friends understood the kindness beneath the gruff exterior and loved him anyway.

          I'm sure of all the seven dwarfs, Grumpy was probably the most difficult to love, but Snow White probably loved him a little more because she knew how much he needed it. Scrooge opened his heart because tiny Tim's family did not give up on him. "Bah, hum–bug" was a cry for help instead of an insult to the glorious Christmas season.

          I am not proposing that we bake brownies for people who insult us or become best friends with those who take advantage of us. I am simply suggesting we give people a chance. If you cut off everyone you do not like immediately, you run the risk of losing out on some pretty great friends. Take time to look beneath the surface. Take time to really listen and you might hear what lies beneath the pain that causes some people to be so negative.

          We all have friends who tell it like it is or don't pull any punches if you ask them what they think. We need these friends. We count on them to tell us the truth when others are afraid to hurt our feelings. These are usually very close friends because somewhere in the relationship you have built up enough trust to allow your friend to tell you the truth even when it hurts. In fact, you count on him / her to be honest because you know it comes from a place of love.

          It is not easy to be this kind of friend, and it certainly isn't easy to be on the receiving end of such friendship, but it is a gift when given in the right way. When friends tell you things too bluntly or too "in your face ," it definitely is not a gift. It is more like a gag gift with the emphasis on gag.

          I have friends who call such friends "friends without filters." They do not mean to hurt your feelings. They do not say things to embarrass you on purpose. They simply speak before thinking. Where most of us have an internal critic who acts as a filter for inappropriate statements, there are some people who simply say anything they feel like at any time.

          Such friends often say things that leave others aghast because what they say is so inappropriate. Most people would never dream of saying, "Who butchered your hair?" or "You have on a few pounds. Did you stop walking?"

          These so–called friends do not say these things on purpose to hurt you. They do not mean to offend you. They just lack the filter that warns them of the possibility that their words could be hurtful or inappropriate. To them they are merely stating the obvious.

          If you are not friends with such a person, you are probably wondering how the term "friend" can even be applied. Remember that friends come with all sorts of baggage and all sorts of positives and negatives. That is the human condition. When you have a friend who does not have a filter, they usually have many other fine qualities that cause you to overlook the occasional filter–less lapse in judgment.

          Such friends can be most loyal, kind, and considerate in most situations. They would do anything for you including giving you the shirt or blouse off their often over–burdened backs.

          The next time you hear someone say something wildly inappropriate and wonder how on earth the person the remark is directed to can possibly be their friend, don't be too quick to judge. You have no idea how often that friend has been there during tough times or how much love and genuine concern that friend has given. Just because we cannot see what someone else sees in a friend does not mean it is not there. Chances are it is there with an abundance of love and real caring.

          We have all slipped at times and said things we wish we could take back. Others say things and do not even realize they should never have said them in the first place. This does not automatically make them a bad friend. It just makes them an unaware, although well meaning, friend.

          It is totally unintentional, and a real friend understands. Real friends love us in spite of our faults. Real friends accept us the way we are. Real friends understand that we do our best to be good friends. Sometimes we lack filter and sometimes we filter hurt and disappointment for our friends because that is what real friends do.

                                                                                                         By Connie Meyer



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