Sometimes Bad is Good

In the aftermath of the past few months, I've learned a lot about the people closest to me, as well as people in general, really. It's no huge revelation that times of grief and struggle can bring out the best in people...and also the worst. I've seen some of my best friends behave more amazingly than I even thought possible, and some of my family members have saved me from going absolutely nuts in ways that I couldn't have guessed I would respond to/need.

However, inevitably, some people have also disappointed while wallowing in their own darkness. (This is not directed at anyone specifically, and certainly not anyone who reads my blog...that I know of. I'm trying to speak generally here for a reason. Finger-pointing does no good, in my opinion.)

But something that has dawned on me recently is that we should be thankful for these less-than-stellar people in our lives.

"Are you taking crazy pills?" you ask.

No. Hear me out...

If we didn't have the bad friends and bad family members, I don't think we'd ever quite appreciate the good ones. If you don't know any differently, how can you be expected to recognize the true greatness of with what you've been blessed?

Linguist Ferdinand de Saussure described language as a formal system of differential elements, basically indicating that we understand words and signs because they are not something else. I would argue that this is also how we form an understanding of human behavior: we assess one's character based on how they stack up next to our already-established network of relationships, good and bad.

For example, one may decide that a new romantic interest is very promising and possess positive qualities because they are comparing those qualities and behaviors to their own repertoire of good and bad, unique to the definition within sizing up a mate...and otherwise. One may conclude that Mr. AdorableAtTheMoment is worth shaving one's legs because he is not like Mr. PummeledMySelfConfidence in terms of making his feelings/intentions known, ability to hold down a job, lack of body odor, etc. (I would argue that many of the differentials made in the dating realm relate directly to sizing up how well one speaks your love language, but there are certainly many variables to consider.)

Getting back to my point... SQUIRREL!

Rather than curse your exes (friends and/or lovers) and/or spurned family members, allow yourself to go through the inevitable grieving period of losing that relationship (and with it a wee bit of your faith in humanity), then pray for them (and their sad, stupid hearts), and count your blessings for those still in your life with whom you can grab some bubbly and walk it out.


  1. Such a good point. Sometimes I think that I truly wouldn't be able to appreciate how great my current relationships are without being in the bad ones I was in before. It really does put things in perspective.

  2. I couldn't agree more!! I've always said we have friends because we need somthing from them. People get pretty defensive when I say that, but I meant it the same way you more eloquently put it: Everyone we know offers us something, good and/or bad, and those that don't tend not to hang around for long.

    Great insight! You are one of the smartest ladies I know!

  3. Great post, lady. You're so right.

  4. I'm pretty sure you don't do blog awards, but I mentioned you in my latest one!

  5. WOW! Excellent! I do enjoy fresh perception!

  6. LOL! I heart you!


    Great post and very well said. I agree with you 100%. I think I've even said this same exact thing to the hubby, or Di. One of them. Miss you!!!

  7. Not sure how I ended up here since I don't even know you, but I did, and this is a really good post. Reminds me of advice I give friends when they are going through a rough time. Rough times add value to the good times. You really need one to experience the other. Some of the most well-rounded and wise friends I have are people who have been through a lot, and frames their experiences with valuable perspective. Additionally, having a sense of gratitude for all the experiences you have and people you meet quickly minimizes stress in your life, which of course is healthy. I don't allow negative people to occupy space in my life, but I do try to learn something from all the relationships I have, even if on the surface they seemed detrimental.