To Walk A Mile In Someone Else's Shoes

I never realized until just recently how extremely shallow a lot of my friendships are. We have a lot of laughs and inside jokes and very in-depth conversations, but when it comes to the subjects we disagree on, we have a lot of trouble working out our differences. I've noticed this with a few of my friends and it really worries me. I just got in a fight with my supposed “best friend” about looking on the inside of a person before you judge them. My best friend told me I was desperate, and I got so mad I just ended the conversation by ending the phone call. Of course, he got mad and called me back angry about it, and I can hardly blame him, but what he said hurt me. It made me feel like even though we spend so much time together and on the phone, he didn't know me at all. He's said things like that before, and every time it disturbs me. I know that part of this is my fault, but friends aren't supposed to do that to each other. I'm really disgusted by both of our behavior. He's my best friend. He knows more about me than I tell my family and the rest of my friends, and yet we scream and yell at each other and get into worse fights than most teens even get into with their parents. He is so hard headed that he's hard to handle sometimes. He's like a 3 year old insisting that Santa Claus is real. He does listen to what you're saying, but unlike most people, he doesn't really process what you say either, even when it's probably a more mature way of thinking about the issue at hand. He does the kind of “whatever, I don't care what you say, I'm right no matter what.” thing. I find it kind of ironic, too, that my best friend can also some days be my worst enemy.

But he isn't the only one I've noticed this with. One of my friends I'm really only friends with because we're dating boys that have been best friends since they were 3. We get along okay, sure, but it's just sad that that's the only reason.

Another friend I'm only friends with because we used to have a lot in common, but now he lives, breathes, and dreams in drugs. I talk to him, but the topics always drift from the easy and common “how was your day?” type of thing, when I know he cares about as much as a fish cares about where it's parents ended up.

And, yet another friend, I do adore her. She's good humored and nice and happy and very talkative, and into her schoolwork, if that's possible. I love those qualities, but then sometimes there's the factor of our extreme different views of political things, and cultural things. She's not very prejudice about some things, but others she is to the extreme. In some categories I share her views, but then in others, I am taken totally aback by what she's said. Once we were in class and began to talk about The Day of Silence, and she said something along the lines of “There's a reason gays are getting beaten in alley ways.” My other friend and I told her about the boy from Wyoming that got strung on a barbed wire fence on the highway, dead, and she said “Good.” My friend and I sort of looked at each other, told her it was because of that sort of thinking why The Day of Silence is so important, and just went on with our day, forgetting the conversation. I know as well, maybe better than she does how much I over look her, in some cases, outlandish opinions because besides those things, she is an awesome person and I'm glad to know her. I don't know if the way we both carry out this state of mind is a fault, or a virtue.

These people I care very much about, but sometimes it's hard to look past the awkward things we all do to each other. I do have normal, good, deep friends that care about me and I care about them and they listen carefully to what I'm saying and vice versa, but it's strange that they're not the ones that stick out in my mind. I just worry about why we can't just listen to each other easily. We don't have to agree, but if we're really friends, we should be able to get through the deepest conversation without getting so mad that we have to end the conversation completely or change the subject and pretend the difference never happened.
I think that's the biggest test of friendship. At the end of the day, even when you've been annoyed at things they say, you can listen carefully and easily to what the other person is saying, and see where they're coming from. That's probably also one of the most important personality traits leading into an adult life, a trait that many overlook and many will probably never achieve. I'm not saying I have this trait, but I know I make an effort to have it. I think the goal of this piece of writing is for people to be more aware of their friend's points of view, even if you might not agree. Walking a mile in someone else's shoes really is an interesting quote, and it's also a challenge. Think about what it's really saying and maybe this way everyone can work to make friendships and relations to all people in general better.





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