The wooden chair was sitting beside the garbage can. The back rungs had become unglued. It would be easy to fix the chair. Sand the end of the rungs, put glue on them and put it back together. After the glue dries the chair would be fixed.
I walked past the chair and didn’t take it home.
The chair was thrown away because it was broken. No one wanted to take the time to repair it.
The chair is like a friendship that is discarded because of a misunderstanding. Calls not returned. Meeting at a pot- luck dinner and the friend walking the other way. Where there were once hugs and smiles, there are now cold stares and avoidance.
Phone calls not returned. Letters addressed, “Return to sender.”
One friend moved away. Letters not send. Birthdays forgotten. Maybe the friend was sick. Or forgetful.
Friendships can feel like broken chairs.
Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.
― Jean de La Bruyère
I walked past the chair.
But, when I am the chair I want someone to sand the chair rungs and glue me back together. I don’t want to be thrown away in the trash. A friendship thrown away.
And, if I have offended you. Please tell me. Please tell me when I offend you. Perhaps I didn’t know.
Please let me come over with my bottle of glue.
Chairs are easy to fix. But it does take time. You have to buy the glue and the sandpaper. You have to set aside time in your day to sand the chair. The chair will not get repaired by just thinking about it. The chair will never get fixed if you avoid it. And it will take time for the glue to dry.
Friendships can be easy to fix. But both people have to want to be glued back together. It will take time. You need time to talk and listen. The friendship, like the chair, won’t get repaired by just thinking about it. And your frienship won’t get healed if you avoid it. As the glue takes time to dry, it will take time for the hurt feelings to fade. It will take time to trust again.
Have you ever felt like the chair I saw in the trash?
Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.
P.S. I have found a few good resources about how to make safe friends.
And, sometimes it is best to walk away from a broken chair. Not all people are safe.
Dr. Cloud and Townsend have written a book that will help you pick people you can trust. I bought the first when it was first printed. There was a woman I met in my neighborhood in Illinois who was not safe. She didn’t respect my boundaries and treated me unkindly. I bought the book to help me learn how to be gracious and set boundaries.
Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t
Dr. Levine also has a blog: the friendship blog: Advice for navigating Friendships at every stage of life. I met her when we were both on Huffington Post Live talking about making friends. The Loner Lifestyle- Living With No Friends.
Some of these are affiliate links. The pennies Amazon pays me helps to buy kitty litter. I have four cats and seven litter boxes.