Originally posted by
This has always been a tough one for me...the reason is because when I was growing up there was a close family friend who was a t-total bitch to everyone who crossed her path -- sarcastic, biting, condescending, and in some situations downright rude,
This has always been a tough one for me...the reason is because when I was growing up there was a close family friend who was a t-total bitch to everyone who crossed her path -- sarcastic, biting, condescending, and in some situations downright rude, but my mother loved her to death because "she always speaks her mind and that takes a lot of courage" and even though something may be a negative trait, if it it's to protect oneself does that really mean it's a bad trait to have?
She took very good care of my mother during some of the most difficult times in her life. You see, in her case her heart was simply so big that she had to guard it or risk being taken advantage of time and again. The truth is it was too easy for her to take on the problems of others while ignoring her own and many people disliked her greatly because she kept them at arms length or refused to sugar-coat things. She had a strong sense of right and wrong and if she felt you were doing wrong by God you were going to hear about it.
So, back to the topic at hand, everyone has an opinion. The great thing about opinions is they aren't facts, evidence, nor truth. They are simply opinions. Everyone is free to speak their minds and I think at best I would ask if these people had the nerve to say it to the other person's face. If not, then what difference does it make what they think? They're obviously more satisfied with idle gossip than getting to know the person.
I'm sure this happens much more than people are willing to admit and there's a difference between gossiping and venting. If they're saying this person is guilty of cheating on their spouse or beating their kids or something of that nature and I know that to be completely untrue, you bet your life I'm going to go toe to toe with them.
Thank you for giving such thoughtful answers to my topics!
My mother had a friend like that! Fortunately, she was also good to me, so I always thought her sarcasm was hilarious and she never did or said anything hateful to my mom or me, so she remained a friend.
I agree, everyone has opinions and they are entitled to them. I think in this case, if what they were saying was untrue and I knew better, I would set them straight (tactfully, of course) because they're people I respect and admire. I would certainly listen to what they had to say and ask how they came to those conclusions.
Now, if they were people I didn't respect, or care about, I would set them straight if they were saying untrue things, but if it's just a matter of them not liking someone, I don't have a problem "letting" them say their piece. I may even decide if I want to even bother disagreeing with them. But it's a rare case when I can keep my big mouth shut if what they are saying is unjustified! Sometimes it's not worth it, but it will definitely affect my view of them
, not the person they are criticizing.