Feuding Friends

those you meet on a journeyQ Dear Miss Abigail:

My friend and I are fighting. I want us to continue being friends, but we’re both stubborn. What should I do?


A Dear Vanessa:

You don’t mention why you are fighting, but I have a feeling it might be related to some common issues that all friends seem to fight about ~ like what’s the best breakfast cereal, or what is saner ~ getting up early or sleeping late. Oh, no, that’s not it. Hmmm… maybe it is related to some of the issues mentioned in the following passage from the 1936 home ecomomics textbook titled Everyday Living for Girls.

1936: How May One Keep Friends?

The same qualities which help one make friends also aid in keeping them. Oversensitiveness, shyness, jealousy, gossiping, being too critical, and wanting one’s way are faults to avoid.

Jealousy destroys friendship. Jealousy sometimes breaks up friendships. Almost everyone is capable of jealousy. Do you think you could get hold of yourself, be so honest that you could look ‘the green-eyed monster’ in the face, recognize it for what it is, and tell it to leave? Sadly enough, it is not unusual for girls to be jealous of and ‘catty’ to other girls. Be generous. Be big enough to enjoy the good fortune of others ~ their clothes, good looks, social engagements, parties, school honors and other achievements. Incidentally, if you are worth-while and deserving, popularity and success will not turn your head. You will find time to remember and see old friends.

Do not gossip or pry into others’ affairs. A second way to destroy friendship is to be too inquisitive. Interest in others is natural and welcome if there is respect for the right of privacy. There is one type of girl who takes a proprietary attitude with her friends. She keeps track of everything they do and asks them direct questions about every detail of their lives. She may love them, but has a poor way of showing it ~ one which anybody may resent.

A direct personal question is in very poor taste. Only an ill-bred person asks personal questions.

Gossip is closely akin to prying into others’ affairs. Gossip, whether friendly or malicious, by intention or by accident, is a vice. It is a habit which grows. The tendency to gossip is a thing to curb in oneself and check in others. . . .

The passing of an old friendship.What would you do if you found that a friendship did not mean as much to you as it once had? Should you let old friends go? Would you cling to the friendship because of loyalty? Would this be false friendship if you’re heart were gone from it?

In the book Jeremy at Crale, Hugh Walpole has answered these questions. Jeremy’s best friend has been Jumbo. But the time has come when he finds he cannot talk to him any more. Jeremy has changed; Jumbo has not. Jeremy feels disloyal and self-critical. He has a very understanding uncle to whom he goes for advice. Uncle Samuel says that he can do nothing, and continues, ‘Friendship’s like that. You aren’t friends with someone because you want to be. You can’t have a friend unless you can feed one another. Once or twice in your life you’ll meet someone and you’ll go on with them for the rest of your days. Finer and finer it is. But for the rest ~ those you meet on a journey ~ be grateful for the times you’ve had together, let it go when it’s over, bear no grudges, above all, don’t prolong it falsely. No one knows at the start what a friendship’s going to be. Don’t hang on and be false. Life’s a movement or ought to be. Don’t be sentimental over reminiscences and don’t charge others with falseness. On the whole, you’ll be treated as you deserve.’

Source: Van Duzer, Adelaide Laura, et. al. Everyday Living for Girls. Chicago: J. B. Lippincott Company,1936.
~ pp. 380-82 ~