How do I cope with losing friends over a misunderstanding?

I’m taking some heat for something a friend has been accused of doing, which somehow blew up and became something I’ve been accused of too. I have no idea how this happened, honestly. Some people I considered good, supportive friends have disappeared without warning and I can only assume it’s over this B.S. I am feeling really abandoned and like it’s totally unfair. How do I cope with this?

Never be afraid to call someone out on their bullshit.
03-09-13-35-39 / 24

Hello Diner. The first thing (of the very few things) you can do is remember how you humans work. They have their own prejudices and insecurities–however pleasant they seem. A bright smiling face is very adept at hiding darker thoughts. Someone’s desire to be accepted–to keep themselves from feeling the exact thing you are–is strong enough to compel them to do things counter to how they genuinely want to act. They want to dissociate themselves from the appearance of supporting or even sympathizing with something unpopular to fit in.

Unlike these fairweather friends, you see the situation from the victim’s point of view–you know exactly what it’s like to be abandoned. We Fortune Cookies not only have the benefit of being a third party, we’re also collectively more than a hundred years old. Every time we see one group protest to exclude another, we see countless people luckily born on the “right side” who don’t say anything. They may not feel as strongly as the zealous protesters–they might even disagree with them–but those beliefs aren’t nearly as strong as their desire not to be on the receiving end of that protest and alienation.

For these casual dissenters, it’s almost a matter of survival. If a goat sees the Xiamen tiger chase a deer, it runs. It doesn’t offer itself up as a slower, easier to catch alternative just to save the deer. Therefore these friends–who were lucky enough to not be involved in this situation–didn’t take the time to consider your side. They just ran.

Follow up with these friends and ask why. Maybe they were afraid to (or didn’t know how to) find out whether you were innocent. It was much easier to distract themselves with less controversial things like bills, work, and family than to broach this uncomfortable topic with you. They don’t necessarily think you’re guilty. In fact a great majority of them might think you’re innocent.

Humans if anything are great at procrastinating, most of you Diners are doing it right now.

On social media, there are times where we all “like” a single, extremely generalized meme that supports something we already believe. Very rarely in these situations do we take the time to think of perfectly reasonable ways we’d believe differently. If there had been a few, different experiences in our lives, we’d “like” a post that said something completely opposite.

So think complexly of these friends who you think abandoned you because of this situation. If you have the courage to do it, invite them here for tea and straight up ask them if you assumed correctly.

But…if you don’t have the courage to talk to them yet, you can easily see why they haven’t rallied to help you. They may simply be anxious of confrontation just like you are right now.

Whenever you do finally talk to them, we Cookies hope that they remember to think complexly of you and listen to your side. If they don’t, you’ve just experienced a rather disappointing characteristic of humanity that no one can change–that some people are simply that easy to sway or just that selfish with their time, but who can look caring if it’s popular and easy to. Losing these friends would make the rest of your circle that much more supportive without them.

You should take the time to acknowledge the friends who did take your side. Thank them for giving you a fair chance. Keep these remaining friends. If you ever have a future disagreement, remember to think complexly of them and try to understand why they would disagree with you in the first place. You owe them at least that much for sticking by you this time. Good luck, Diner.

What could this dream mean?

I keep having dreams that people I need to communicate with on a daily basis, such as coworkers, can only speak foreign languages (such as Swedish) and they don’t understand me. What could this mean?

Rädsla för prat är rädsla ändå

Ah, the dream world. It is indeed a mysterious place. One that seldom makes sense, and often defies any of the reason or logic this world so adamantly insists we live by. The dream world is one of my favourite places to visit. When I close my eyes I am taken back to my childhood travels, full of magical talking cats, giant chess games, exotic foods, and tiny, tiny doorways. But these are tales for another time. You, my dear, have your own dream world that you do not understand.

If you are not familiar with the language of Morpheus, night time journeys can be confusing and sometimes terrifying. Fortunately I am fluent and so can assist you with unravelling these mysteries. Normally I would request a small token of three gold coins for the service, however the Baker insists I provide my time in exchange for endless cups of Oolong and a plate of pork dumplings, so you are, indeed, very lucky.

Like fingerprints and apple cakes everybody’s dreams are different. However, there are four basic kinds of dreams one can have. First, you can have the mundane dream that replays the events of the day. If you have these types of dreams, I am sorry. Though another mystic once told me that those who have dull dreams are true creatives. Their nights are so boring, because their days are filled with wonder. Secondly, you may be blessed and cursed with prophetic dreams that tell your, or others, future. I myself have these from time to time, though they usually involve advising me that my carriage driver will be late to collect me for an appointment the next day. Helpful, but not exciting. Third are the most fun, these are lucid dreams where you can control your dream world as much as you can your waking one and more. Finally, (the type of dream I believe you are having) are dreams that are sent to you by your inner self. They tell you of your deepest desires, your darkest fears, and truths that you have long since buried. These are often confusing, but always useful if you can figure out what they mean.

And so, now to your dream. As I said, this dream appears to be a message from your inner self. The little voice that lives in all of us, that knows all that is true, but often cannot speak loud enough to be heard… until you are asleep. Your little voice sounds like it is not the only one having difficulty being heard. You are likely feeling that people do not listen to you, or understand you. You are speaking in another language while you slumber because your words are not being understood while you are awake. Of course, dreams are seldom this literal. These are the place of emotions, of raw mental energy. This dream speak of fear of being misunderstood. Of not being able to communicate with those you need to.

Which leads me to ask you, my dear, how is your waking life with your co-workers? Are you feeling misunderstood? Out of place? Do you need to practice your Swedish lessons more regularly?

In my many years of experience, inner voice dreams raise more questions than they answer. The trick is to look at your life in your waking hours and see how it connects to the visions of your sleeping ones. Look beyond the actual pictures, and attend to the way you feel in the dream. This is the most important part. If you feel simply confused and frustrated in these dreams, perhaps you need to develop your communication skills more. If you are scared that no one understands you, this may indicate a waking fear you have of being misunderstood. I recommend spending some time with your little voice. Self awareness is the key to interpreting these types of dreams.

I hope that this interpretation has helped somewhat. If you would like a more in depth reading, come back and see me with those three gold coins. Don’t tell the Baker though, simply place them under your dish before you leave.

Until then, sweet dreams my dear.

– A. L. –

The Advice Fortune Cookie humbly thanks Mme. Liddell for her ageless insight–gratis–while we are visiting her home country of Australia. You can read all of her other Fortunes here.