Friendship morals dilemma, how would you handle this situation?

@wheel416 (1019)
Canada
December 20, 2008 7:52pm CST
This is not a hypothetical question I recently experienced this and I want to know your thoughts and what you would've done in a similar situation. I have a very close friend with whom I have a very good relationship. We are open and honest with one another and agree to disagree on many things. In fact we have a few major differences in some of our core values such as religion ETC. And quite surprisingly it works well, we listen to each other's perspectives and even learn from those discussions. Due to the fact that we already know we will disagree on some core issues, we have a standing agreement between ourselves, that we will always tell the truth and agree never to say anything we don't mean. In essence we agreed to love and support one another, even if we do not agree with each other's decisions. So with that here's what happened.... I had a friend call me up with what she considered to be great news, that she was going to be having a 4th child. She was happy, excited and thrilled. I was not, they were having financial difficulties already, employment was an issue, and I had concerns about each child they already have. Now I realize that I have no right to any opinion as to whether they have more children or not, however as we have agreed to love and support one another, but never to say something we do not mean. I had no idea what to say to her. My dilemma is this. I did not want to say congratulations! Wonderful! Great! Spectacular! Because this would've been a direct lie, in my heart I felt anything but good about this news. And so, in keeping with our agreement never to say anything we do not mean, I did not say any of the above. I said things like, wow! You're going to be busy! That's gonna be alot to handle! You sound happy! Etc. In this way, I feel that I was being supportive but not being untruthful in saying something I did not mean. Is this being mean, or cruel to a friend? Should I have told a little white lie and congratulated her? I feel that if I would've done that she would have sensed my insincerity anyway... What would you done? Have you been in a similar situation where somebody had great news to tell you, where you absolutely disagreed and thought it was a bad choice? I would like to know your honest opinions about this. Would you want to be told the truth, or is there such a thing as a proper place to tell a little lie. Or would you have done what I did and not made a comment positive or negative and tried to stay neutral? Because in essence that's what I tried to do is stay neutral; to not be negative, because is not my life, and therefore I have no input to the choices, but I couldn't be positive either because it is not what I believe, so I tried to stay supportive and not be mean yet stay truthful and honest. Which are 2 of the most important qualities in a frienship for both her and I. Any feedback would be appreciated.
2 people like this
6 responses
• United States
21 Dec 08
Being honest and being neutral is an art that many don't get, they think a little lie here and a little lie there doesn't harm anyone in fact there are many people walking around on this planet that think lying is acceptable behavior. I have a problem with liar and lying. I personally seek to be honest and like you I've learned that I can share my honesty with out causing harm or misery. As one of your friends above indicated being honest has allowed your friend the freedom to come to you when times get tough for solid or candid advice, since this was the triumphant message being delivered it is good that you did not rain on her parade. That would have just been plain rude, but you are right that she would have probably sensed your insincerity with false congratulations if you are anything like me I have learned that not only can my face and gestures or body language can be clearly read by others but also that people will try to read between the lines to create their own version of events. So yeah' I get it and I believe in people telling the truth to each other. After all if you know me you should know that I put a great value and effort into 'Helping Others; Tell the Truth' Peace and Blessings, Sincerely, Gary
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
21 Dec 08
You are absolutely right! Whether I intend to tell you my opinion or not, those that know me well, can see my opinion written all over my face without me ever opening my mouth. At times this has been a huge asset, at others a definite liability! Oh well such as life. Take care
• Ireland
21 Dec 08
I really admired your friendship. It made me miss my friends back home. With regards to your situation, I'd say you did well. Your being honest and saying things you don't mean is the best way to deal with things. There's nothing you can do about the pregnancy thing and I believe your friend is delighted to be pregnant despite the financial difficulty. I guess the best way you can get your message across is to tell her later on what you think of the whole situation the next time you talk to her. By then, you'd have thought what to say to her and how to say it in a way that you know you wont hurt her feelings. Best of luck. And say congratulations to your friend for me. Have a nice day
• United States
22 Dec 08
The one thing that I hear you say quite a few times is " You two made an agreement on to love and support one another." Who said that if you were to tell your friend on how you truly feel, that you are not too happy on the decision on them having another baby, due to their living situations, that you are not loving and supporting them. With true love, comes correction, truth and difficult things to deal with. But, without those things, you would never know who your true friends are, unless these situations arise, you conquer, and forgive and remain friends. I have a friend right now, that I told her I wanted to slap her for getting pregnant again after having a baby 4 mos ago. I mean there is still a way to say it in love, but she knew I was not joking! So, if this is how you truly feel and you are not happy for your friend, then you need to tell her. Look I am not as thrilled about you having another baby, because of the living thing, but.... you my girl I love you and we in this together. That is something that I would say.... then once you're done.... tell I should slap you.... it's all in love!!!!! LOL!
• United States
22 Dec 08
Hi Talkingmuch, I'd like to help you on your journey here in MyLot... You made a reply to a post of anther person making a reply to the Original Post (OP) Now here is the thing, at the bottom of the OP there is a post a response button to the OP and there is a post comment button or reply button to each person that has made a response to the discussion or OP. Here is the key, you get points for posting to other people's discussions, you do not get points for making replies to people who have responded to the OP... So if you want to grow, you want to post to the OP and that is just one key... If you look back at this discussion you will see that it appears you are posting a comment to jcay_lorna instead of the OP... Hi jcay_lorna, Are you still around? Could I suggest that you re-read the OP? Wheels416 said exactly what she meant, not something that she didn't mean because she couldn't do that. She is curious if or why she feels conflicted over not really speaking about concerns that are running through her mind. I think she is right to hold off on those concerns, there is no rush to bring a person down when they are so happy about the new present and the future. There are many reason's why it is not appropriate to burst people's bubbles in such a way when we do not know what the future holds. One thing is certain raising and caring for children really isn't all that difficult or expensive especially when friends are around to help. Friends can always help friends... Yes this can make life more difficult but how we view things makes a world of difference...
@celticeagle (111767)
• Boise, Idaho
21 Dec 08
First off you two are supposed to be good friends. Friends that are upfront and honest with one another. YOU ARE NOT BEING A GOOD FRIEND! You need to be upfront and honest. It doesn't have to be in a nasty, snide or negative manner. Just say: Hey, I really need to tell you something. And then tell her how you feel. You are both adults. You need to express yourself. Wouldn't you want to have her do the very same thing for you?
• United States
21 Dec 08
Hi Celticeagle, Nice moniker, and at any rate I would like to question of the fact that this point you raise has been addressed. First the joy of finding out that the friend is calling with this great news of being pregnant leads the conversation in a direction that does not allow for the sharing of feelings at this time. A good friend doesn't crush the hopes and dreams of another friend. The honorable thing to do is to allow some time for questions to be raised and then address each issue as it appears. Hey' after all the concern of one might not even be valid for the actions of another might reveal a miracle that gives great life to this new beginning and the concern might be all a moot point. The power of positive thinking could change the whole situation. A new job could be found the family could end up with some special gift that was totally unexpected who knows? What I would want for me is the best of outcomes that are possible instead of living the nightmares of others. Why should I be subject to the fears and false accusations of others? Don't we have enough negative forces already at work in our world? Why contribute to more? Why even be a part of it? Let's build a great light for all to see and be warmed by the love of true spiritual support and happiness to bring forth a warmth of love and hope for eternity. We can begin today.
@piya84 (2591)
• India
21 Dec 08
well every situation is different..fisrt thing u cant do anything as she is already pregnat.So ur advise ,worries are nt going to work.i think u can suggest her indirectly.Like instead of saying dat this can put lot of financial burden,tell her u need do good saving for ur chidren...for their bright future.Here u r nt lying neither this gonna hurt her.
• Canada
21 Dec 08
Well I can say I am exactly like you are. I just went through this with my aunt. We are only 8 yrs apart in age and have been very good friends for the last few years. She recently left her hubby and within 2 months she had a new guy in her life. He SEEMS to be nice and all but a week after getting together with him he was moved in then a week later they were talkin babies and then a week later they were talking marriage. 3 weeks is way too soon too be talking about any of that stuff. Now it is going on about 2 months that they have been together and she is pregnant. Everyone in the family is exstatic but me. I just can't help but see all the red flags. Maybe within a few months I will be happy about it but as of now I am not. She knows nothing about this guy and I pray to god he turns out to be the prince she thinks he is.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
21 Dec 08
Well, it's not like your friend can send the baby back so I think you did the right thing. She is obviously happy and, as her friend, of course you didn't want to rain on her happiness, even without the agreement the two of you have made. You said all the right things in my opinion. If your friend is having problems, I'm sure she's already thought about that aspect of bringing another child into the world but, now that it's coming being happy about it is better than being upset and angry. My ex and I had an *accident* so my youngest is 8 years younger than her closest sibling. We had thought we were finished with babies and diapers and, finding out that I was pregnant was a real shock. I was NOT happy at first but I adjusted. Your friend may have some worries that she may want to discuss with you at some point so being neutral is the best position for you to take. She will feel free to talk to you if she needs to.