Here Is When It’s Time To Interfere With A Friend’s Mistake


I have this one principle I try to follow. It goes something like this. Don’t obstruct the onset of mistakes, particularly those made by your friends. Mistakes don’t need to be necessarily prevented. In moderation, mistakes are great. Mistakes are opportunities to learn of what works and what doesn’t. Mistakes allow us to learn more about ourselves and we are capable of. Never a mistake, always a lesson is a quote I once saw on Tumblr but like with most things on the Internet, we should exercise a little caution.

The truth is when it comes to friends, sometimes we must obstruct the onset of their mistakes, particularly repetitive ones. The truth is he was a mistake but I could never explicitly tell her. I just cowardly followed my principle and let her self-destruct on a treacherous path with him. It became a cycle, his mistakes and her hurt. He did something wrong, she became upset and all I chose to do was console from the sidelines. I thought I was being a good friend. I didn’t think it was my place to dictate her life. Principle told me he was her mistake to make and her own to get rid of.

Fuck principle though. Fuck rules of becoming too involved in the lives of others. Fuck minding our own business and existing like passive bystanders. Fuck all the unsaid rules of friendship and social conduct because this time I’m interfering.

I am too impatient to keep watching their debacle from the sidelines. I am too concerned to hide my honesty. He’s a mistake she’s not ready to let go but I’ll have to make her. Sometimes the lessons from our mistakes are right in front of us but we are too ignorant to see them. She knows what he does and how he burns, but she has done nothing to act on her knowledge. She just accepts the status quo misery as a side effect of being with him. But it doesn’t have to be this way, a fact she has forgotten.

In literature, the number three has significant symbolism. The occurrence of items in 3’s implies completeness. The number can appear in the characters and plot elements amongst others. In my chosen understanding, three also signifies the amount of chances I give to people. Strike all three chances and the ramifications can be unforgiving. And from my tracking, he has not only utilized his three chances, he’s moving onto his 50th strike at this rate. Yet, I’ve also given her three chances to act on her own, but each time she cries in my arms and returns to his.

So that’s why this time when he hurt her, I don’t stand by passively. I see her repeat the cycle. She cries and cries affirming this time she is done and it’s so over. Yes, it was over because I wasn’t going to let her repeat her mistakes. When the doubt hits her face, she questions her earlier affirmations and wants to see him again, but I hold her in place. Let me call him, she pleads with me but I don’t. I take her phone and erase everything of him. Maybe I am overstepping but it takes everything in me not to give her the phone. It takes everything in me to not allow her to call him. She looks so pained and I want to help her but helping her meant defying her current protests. She will be angry with me and maybe not even speak to me. Maybe I will lose her too but that was a risk I knew of when I chose to interfere. I can only hope one day she will understand and perhaps appreciate what I am doing.

Mistakes may teach invaluable lessons but repeating the same ones only speaks to our idiocy. Learn the lesson the first time around, not the second, third or 50th in her case. And if you see your friends unable to grasp this notion the first time around, do something about it for their own sake. Teach them the lesson they know of in the back of their mind but refuse to see. A good friend isn’t one who sits idly in face of misery; a good friend is one who steps in and liberates their loved ones from the chained mistakes they commit.