Recently I spent a lot of time telling people what to do.
As I often point out- no one tells you what to do.
I gave a few stern lectures about how we shouldn’t negate our friends feelings- yet- after all my high handed conversation, I found myself doing just that- I found myself negating their feelings.
I realized what I was doing…
Cue the beautiful sunrise and chorus of the angels as I came to a realization…
I stopped before I spoke (or in this case typed as conversations were via text or email) And just for the record, those who know me IRL know I NEVER THINK BEFORE I SPEAK- so this alone was a cause for celebration…
One of my besties was complaining about her saggy face. I was about to tell her that the only saggy thing was perhaps her brain, but I…
I took a moment
and I responded:
“I understand that you feel that way. I know that it makes you upset to see that gravity may not be your friend. What would you like to do about it?”
Instead of putting her on the defensive, or making her feel invalidated by my comments of what are you complaining about– I took her side.
Sidebar: you should support your friends unless they are doing something incredibly dangerous to their well being, or someone else’s…
And she talked out her feelings a little, we laughed (ok- it was email- I assumed she was laughing by the insouciant comments) and I don’t know about her- but I felt better afterward. We then went on to discuss This is Us….
Most of the time, when our friends complain about something, they just want to be heard. So hear them.
Don’t jump in with a solution
Don’t tell them they’re crazy
Listen to them.
Ask them if you can help
Ask questions to make them think about their statement
Just Listen to Them
Check your own feelings, ideas and notions at the door- let your friend/partner/family/whatever say what they need to say without judgement.
Be present and open and listen…
And yeah- I’m telling you what to do again…..I’ll work on that next….