Recently I was at a friend’s house, and we were enjoying a cup of coffee and chatting like normal. I don’t know where it came from, but all of a sudden she said something that I found insulting and insensitive. She swears that she did not mean it that way, but I can’t let it go. Should I break off our friendship? How do I get her to understand how hurt I am?
Dissed in Deschutes
Mom always brags about what a good dog I am because she can leave a plate of food sitting out — even something really yummy like steak or cheese — and I will not touch it, even if she leaves the room. I know that I should not take something that is not mine, and I learned to respect mom’s plate. Mom is always very generous and I have never gone hungry even for a day. I trust her and respect her, so I do not take things from the table even if I can reach it easily, and even if it smells really good.
Mom says that offense is something that can be taken even if it is not given. If you take something that is not offered, then that is stealing, and stealing is not nice. Why would you take — and keep — offense if your friend did not offer it to you? If she says that she did not mean it that way, then why would you call her a liar? If I were your friend, I would feel more offended that you thought so little of me. I would not trust you because you are mean.
Your letter sounds like you want me to give you advice on how to tell your friend they were bad, when it is you who is taking something without being offered and then wanting to smack your friend on the nose with your feelings, even though she did not give them to you. Maybe you should practice being a better friend.