I have a confession to make. I am not always in my best mood. A few days ago, I was especially grumpy, and I did something I am not proud of. Here’s what happened:
I really can’t remember why I was in a bad mood. Maybe I felt a little bit sick, maybe I didn’t sleep well or maybe I was upset about something that happened somewhere else. The truth is, I was grumpy. Like, really grumpy. Like I-didn’t-even-eat-my-pancakes-that-morning grumpy.
When I got to school, Lolita Crane was so happy to see me, as she usually is. She ran towards me and, jumping up and down as she loves to do, she tossed a ball at me and playfully invited me to play.
As I said… I was G R U M P Y. Capital G. So, I kicked that ball as hard as I could, and it flew so far away that Lolita wasn’t able to fetch it. Lolita was so confused, but she thought maybe we could play something else, so she went ahead and tagged me.
She touched my elbow and yelled “TAG” and ran away. That was it! I lost my temper!
I ran to my classroom and sat at my desk and spoke to no one for the rest of the morning.
Lolita was so sad; I could see it in her eyes. I wasn’t in a bad mood anymore, but now she was upset. But I was embarrassed for what I did, so I avoided her for the rest of the day. What else could I do?
A couple of days passed, Lolita wasn’t there in the morning to greet me as she usually did, and she sat as far away from me as possible. I didn’t know what to do, I felt more and more sad and ashamed for what I had done, but… what could I do?
The next day during our lunch break, Lolita sat right next to me. Without making eye contact she said, “So… What is going on?”
I didn’t know what to say, but Lolita did the talking: she told me how my actions made her feel, and I realized how much I have hurt her. I felt even more ashamed.
She said “I told you how I feel, now you tell me what is going on” so I told her exactly what happened: how I had had a bad morning and how I realized I hurt her and how I was so ashamed and so I kept my distance because I was ashamed of being ashamed and how that was not helping at all.
Lolita gave me one of her beautiful warm smiles and said “Next time you feel that grumpy, just tell me and I will understand” and it was so simple! Of course, she is my friend, I can tell her this kind of thing!
We talked about it and agreed that we can both talk about our feelings and that we may not always be in our best mood, but instead of losing our temper, we will tell each other how we feel.
We can also let each other know how the other one can help make us feel better, like “I don’t know why, but I feel very upset today. Can you tell me a joke/run around the patio with me/give me some space”
No friendship is perfect, we all have our good days and our very super grumpy ones. Lolita taught me that we can make our friendship stronger by listening, understanding, respecting, and supporting each other.
Mistake was aware of its feelings but didn’t communicate them to others.
Feeling shame prevented Mistake from making things right with its friend.
Lolita Crane demonstrated maturity and true friendship by talking with Mistake despite her hurt.
Friendships are not perfect, but we learn from each other and grow together.