Mackenzie Easlick ‘17, Natasha Stevanovich ‘17- As you stroll through the halls of RHS, you may hear vulgar terms being thrown about without a thought. “It’s okay because we’re friends”, is the common justification; but is it?
As friends, knowing each other’s limits, where the line stands, and when you cross it, is important. Everyone has boundaries and respecting them is what makes a friendship work. When these boundaries are overstepped by both parties the line becomes hazy, and hurtful things could be thrown around freely.
“My friends and I always joke around, but if one of them told me they weren’t okay with what I was saying, I’d stop,” Ambyr McLean ‘17 said. “We don’t want to be mean, we’re just kidding.”
Mutual respect is a crucial aspect of any relationship. When only one person shows respect, frustration will eventually overtake the other for not being shown the same respect.
It’s easy to call close friends derogatory terms in a joking manner, and it can be perceived as funny when they use them back. After all, being close with someone is about being able to talk about, and say, things you aren’t comfortable saying to others. The key to maintaining a healthy friendship is to respect boundaries.
Some people may not feel comfortable being referred to in a discriminatory manner in any circumstance. People should be aware of how far is too far in order to help maintain positive relationships. Friendship is about understanding what the other person is thinking. As friends, talking about boundaries and lines that can and cannot be crossed should be a mandatory conversation, not something that might happen in passing if something goes wrong.
“If I had friends that pushed my boundaries, I would tell them I was uncomfortable,” Harley Haines ‘18 said. “If they kept doing it intentionally, I wouldn’t stay their friend.”
Everybody needs to take some time to figure out the limits within their friendship, and show respect of those limits. As long as you are aware and courteous, your friendship should remain healthy and all parties content.