Friendship is hard. Even the most ideally matched friends cannot dispute the challenge of maintaining a bond with another human who has the potential to go full annoying at any moment. Characteristics you once found endearing are now repulsive. Plans to hit the road for the weekend are replaced with dreams of throttling your fellow vina with an overburdened suitcase. Vinas who morph into Mr. Hyde’s long lost sister do so for various reasons. Understanding those reasons and employing a bit of self-scrutiny may help you mitigate the annoyance and keep your sh*t intact.
How to communicate with a vina whose likeness you may have formed into a prickly wax doll? The keyword here is ‘politely’. People deserve to be treated graciously. According to a handful of modern etiquette guides, you should:
Be sensitive to your friend’s emotions. Be loyal, cheerful, honest, and committed. If you’re angry with a friend, think twice before advertising your friend’s shortcomings on social media. Deliver the bad news last. Example: I love that dress; it is very flattering on you, but you’re annoying the sh*t out of me.
Two of my fellow vinas said they would simply ‘retreat’ and leave their irritating friend to overcome her tiresome behavior or to take up company alongside other Ghosts of Friendships Past. Two others, however, said they would approach the subject head on and tell their annoying friend that she is, frankly, annoying.
Combined, these suggestions advance the most optimal strategy. Approach the problem directly and without negative emotion. In most cases, unless your friend secretly loathes you, your unease of mind is probably not her daily goal. Be sensitive; empathy is a hugely underrated in everyday communication. Perhaps mention that you noticed your friend is [insert annoying behavior here] and ask if anything is wrong. No one likes to be reproached for her behavior, so if you or your friend choose to separate for a while, that’s fine and normal. Be civil about it! No overt attacks or passive aggressive jabs on social media or to mutual friends.
Lastly, I think it’s important to self-reflect before you confront your friend. Make sure what you find irritating about your vina now isn’t something you found acceptable in the past. It is sometimes difficult to identify changes in our own behavior, and it might be worthwhile to ask your friend if she has noticed anything objectionable about you. I use this tactic often, and it usually results in an exchange of useful feedback.
There is no guarantee that confronting your friend will not cause the cessation of your friendship. Yet, friends deserve an opportunity to offer an explanation or to make amends for an unintentional slights. In most instances, discussing and resolving potential problems is an excellent way to strengthen a friendship, and to gain a more detailed understanding of your own frame of mind.
Have you ever had to get real with a vina about her annoying behavior? Tell us your experience in the comments!
(Feature image via Urban Outfitters)