Making Decisions For Your Friends

The roommate and I were talking last night about various things (mainly relationally based) and a curious phrase popped up that caught my attention. I’ve been thinking about it all day. He said:

…there have been times in the past where you’ve made decisions for me…

To add a little context for the uninitiated or the casual reader, Lee and I have known each other for over three years, and have been roommates for the majority of that span, so we spend an inordinate amount of time together and are, for lack of a better term, LIKE TOTALLY BFF. In the context of the conversation we were having, he was referring to times when he’s had passing thoughts about decisions (like for instance asking a particular girl out or making a large purchase) and i’ve simply responded with something along the lines of, “You don’t want to do that. You KNOW you don’t want to do that. So just stop thinking about it.” That being said, the aforementioned curious phrase raises all sorts of questions for me in terms of community and friendship.

Yes, we do know each other well enough to determine with a high amount of certainty whether or not the other person actually wants/needs to make certain decisions. I would hope this is true for most of the friendships that I hold dear. You spend enough time investing in people and you should be able to get to know them this well. But I think that only comes when you let your guard down enough in living (and in conversation) to allow people into your thought processes. It lets your friends see what makes you tick. It reveals your motives and your heart, much more so than your words ever do. I’m not very good at this, in all honesty.

We think we know best because we are generally prideful and arrogant. (Don’t think you are? Thank you, you just proved the point). But so many of the lessons i’ve learned about community over the past 3-4 years have taught me that my pride and arrogance are the quickest path to reaping the consequences of stupid decisions. On the other hand, letting people know me, letting them in, and yes, even letting them help me make my decisions, is such a freeing place to live and move and breath. 

It’s hard to be objective when a decision is so close and personal (and especially when it involves love and the opposite sex). So, friends, don’t be scared to tell your people what they really do or don’t want to do. Not because you know better than them, but because you love them enough to help them be objective when they seem unable to be. You’re not making the decision for them, they’ve already made the decision. I need my community’s help to see past enough of my emotional clutter to embrace the decisions I know I need to follow through on.

I’m thankful for the people who help my find my heart and follow through on right decisions.