I went through rough phase in my life two decades ago. By God's grace I was able to come out of it. I have had a few friends who were with me in that stage. They were not encouraging or giving me confidence but at least they didn't back out or discourage me. I respect them for that and our friendship has been good all these years. In fact, we were too young then to even talk or discuss about it.
A decade ago, one of those friends, Alice, went through a rough phase. We were all together and later things settled. Again, we spoke about it only once, when the incident actually occurred and I didn't bring up the topic again, since it would be digging up the dried tears.
A few incidents related to the problem
For the last two years, whenever we have a conversation, Alice brings up the rough phase I went through and tells me how well I handled it.
I understand that she is trying to praise me for that, but I really do not want to talk about it for various reasons.
- I know that there are many others who endure more pain but did not succumb to it. I feel that I am just one of them and I deserve no praise for it, not in every conversation that we have. Also, she has started giving me unsolicited advice about something which she should be least concerned about. I guess she thinks that she is at a stage where she can advise others but she really doesn't know if others really want her advice.
- Its been two decades that the incident has occurred and it doesn't make any sense to talk about it.
- Whenever my group of friends meet, my name and my endurance phase always comes up. Talking once is okay, but every time makes no sense to me.
- Whenever these conversations happen, I do not talk about it. Because, from my end, it doesn't make any sense. But, later I realized that, all of them are, subconsciously doing it only to make me talk about it. So, the moment I talk about it, tell them how much pain I went through etc, they would actually get to listen first hand about everything and this would make them stop having conversation about me, forever.
- I do not ever want to discuss about it with anyone, let alone Alice. So, if someone else is trying to talk about it, I divert the topic or move away from that place, gracefully.
The actual problem
Alice is a good friend of mine and I want to tell her that I am not interested in talking about it, ever. I would like to tell her that everyone goes through such phases and want to insist that she went through one too. If I chose to respect her endurance, she has to choose to respect mine too.
But, in case I even mention about her rough phase, I am pretty sure she wouldn't want to talk about her's because she would break down then and sob for hours. In fact, for days.
Now, me telling her directly would be rude but I do not see how I can be polite about it. Is there anyway I can state to her that I am not interested to talk about my past nor is her unsolicited advice welcome, without burning bridges?