The first was a conversation a couple of weeks ago, where my friend was telling me that another mutual friend complained that she acted differently when she was alone, compared to when she was with her spouse. She tried very hard to convice me that *everyone* does it.
It was particularly interesting to me for a couple of different reasons, one is that I have also observed it in her. It's a big enough difference that it could almost be a personality switch. When she is alone she is a warm and outgoing person. When she is with her spouse, she is very reserved, almost wanting to fade into the background, leaving him to be the center of attention.
The other reason I find it interesting is that I see a past me in her actions. With my ex-husband, I suppressed my own personality, because he was not a people person. I (consciously or unconsciously) faded into the background so that he would seem more outgoing in contrast.
If you said something to my friend about it, she would protest that her spouse is a drama queen and attention slut and she's just stepping aside and letting him get the attention that he needs. I'm not buying the explanation tho. I believe it's more subtle than that.
The second was a conversation that I had with another friend. We were talking about lots of different things and she said something that totally blew me away.
She told me that I treat her the exact same way, every time I see her. It doesn't matter what situation I see her in, socially, work, privately or just running into her randomly. I always treat her the exact same and she has issues with that. She finds herself getting anxious because I don't immediately drop what I'm doing or interrupt my conversations to pay attention to her. She starts worrying that I'm unhappy with her or mad at her.
I thought that was intriguing, because I had never really thought about the way that I treat her. She is my friend. I treat her no better or worse than any of my other friends.
However, in the past she had been involved with a married man, and she allowed him to treat her as mere aquaintances in public as opposed to when they were in private. Eventually that relationship fell apart and left a bad taste in her mouth for the duality of appearances in relationships in general. (Oh, and did I mention that she's very young?)
Then it was my turn to blow her away, because I relayed the fact that I don't like all of the people that my best friend does.
BF and I have been friends for over 3 decades, and there are some people that she is friends with that I don't care for. At all. Ever. I may wonder in the back of my mind why on *earth* she would want be be friends with them, but it never bothered me that she was.
We ran in different circles in school and our lives have taken different paths as adults, but I never questioned her loyalty to me. The fact that BF has other close friends is a joy and delight to me, because I am deeply satisfied with my friendship with her and it adds another dimension and subject of conversation between us.
In some bizarre way, these two conversations converged within me. I realized that I (try to) treat everyone the same, all the time.
I've been told that it is apparent that BBB and I are nearly joined at the hip, we're so close. Other than specific behaviours that I don't choose to make public, I treat him the same all the time.
My relationship with BBB made the first conversation land rather sour with me. It was also interesting that the person I had the conversation with had *no clue* that I didn't agree with her assertion.
This also brought to light the fact that I am getting rather good at playing the "sweet and stupid" role in conversations, also known as the "smile and nod". I choose my battles carefully, and disagreeing with peoples beliefs is something that I'm at peace with.
Sometimes I just gotta shake my head, though.