I recently had this a-ha moment in relation to friendship.
How often do we look at a friend and think “they’ve got too much going on, so I better not share what is going on with me as it will be too much”… We don’t want to burden someone else..
How often do we as the friend with something going on, know that there is something going on with our friend but they have a habit of saying that they are fine, good, great (and goodness this can be hard when we want to “be there” for them!)
Or it can cause other issues if friend A is going through so much and hasn’t told friend B, and Friend B is going through something but doesn’t know Friend A is struggling because they say they are doing well and then Friend B is sharing and wondering why Friend A isn’t at the table with them.. ARGH!!… Know what I mean!
So as I was pondering quite unexpectedly, I began looking at this one extraordinary (unicorn type) friendship and thinking what is going on here? This unicorn friendship (its what I’ll call it, because its so unusual) is a friendship where no matter what is going on in either of our lives, no matter the heartbreaks, the pressures, the brokenness, the mess, whatever it is, we can still choose to listen and support one another. Before you even begin to think oh but it cant be heavy stuff, I can tell you there has been extremely heavy stuff at times!
I’ll say it again…. I said LISTEN and SUPPORT.. I did not say TAKE ON BURDEN or FIX….
This may be where we get tripped up in our friendships. Thinking that if a friend tells us something, then we now have a responsibility to make them feel better, or make the situation better, when that is not the case. In most scenarios what our friends need (and what we need) is someone to listen and to be. To hear and validate what we are sharing. To be seen.
How about we take the pressure off what we assume we should be doing for our friends and learn to BE?!
Yes, there will be situations when our friends will need us to DO something to help them, but is that always the case, nope!
Take the pressure off!
We aren’t here to be the saviours and rescuers of everyone, we are here to “be” the amazing people we are, to “listen”, to “hear”, to “validate” and to “be”, dare I say it again “to be!”… Your presence in your friendships is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
No pretending we understand, when we don’t
Just be wholly, remarkably, wonderfully YOU!