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Reflection Day 21: Ann Friedl

Think of your friendships. What habits of yours or theirs undermine trust and love?

By Ann Friedl

I will discuss habits and/or defects which challenge trust and love in my friendships. The discussion will include my own challenges as well as my friends’. Some belong to both.

One of the most obvious setbacks is gossip (talking freely and negatively about others). The listener wonders if they are being talked about as well. Another is not meeting commitments; this upsets trust and expectations. Thirdly, some use health as a reason for total isolation. With the onset of the Pandemic, they completely cut themselves off from others except for maybe the telephone.

A widely sweeping category is not being able to get out of self. This involves a lack of awareness of others’ needs and can lead to anxiety and depression. This preoccupation with self manifests itself in control issues, anger issues and oversensitivity – to name just a few. Those into control are unaware that God is in charge (not them); they try to run other peoples’ lives. We need to pray for God’s will in our lives; self-will run riot is destructive. People with anger issues let resentments build up to the point of explosion.

Often, when their needs aren’t met, they blame the people who didn’t provide for them and get angry. Those who are oversensitive feel rejected when people are not at their “beck and call.” It also seems like they project their own opinions onto others and feel criticized.

Finally, I feel that the humility and sensitivity brought about by a close walk with Jesus will alleviate the pain and suffering caused by challenged relationships. By following his teachings, we will be close to others with trust and love. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

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