What We Don’t Say

A client told me that she had a painful experience with a very long term friend.  They were at a museum viewing a show that was very significant to both of them.  It was political and it represented the views they had taken historically.  The friend viewed the show in ten minutes and indicated she would be in the gift shop.  My client was surprised that her friend had spent so little time at the show.

When she was done, she met her friend and asked her opinion of the show.  The friend responded, “It was alright.”  My client was troubled by the brevity of her answer.

When she related this to me, she explained that she was distressed because she believes her friend may not want to be her friend anymore since she discloses very little in terms of her thoughts and feelings.  I asked her if she has spoken to her about this.  She said, “I have asked her innumerable times to tell me more, and she does not.  I know where she will go with this so I have not.”

Often we fail to disclose what we are truly thinking and feeling.  To say to her friend, “I am concerned that our relationship is changing and I would like to discuss this,” addresses the problem directly instead of adding her own interpretation of her friend’s behavior.

We are not encouraged or taught how to express who we are.  It is unfortunate.