Recently I was bombarded with a handful of problems back to back… Naturally I did what most people do; I reached out to my closest friends. I knew that they would have my back, give me comforting words, and make me laugh. Why wouldn’t I, we’ve been crying on one another’s shoulders for years. Except, this time it was different. One friend asked me was I okay but the other two went straight into telling me what I needed to and should have already done. Now on top of my hurt I was frustrated. After the first blow of problems a few more trickled in and I went to two of the 3 friends. One had sympathy but the other had began to say things that were really sugar coated statements of get over and stoop talking about it. By the end of the 2nd week the last friend was outright ignoring me talk. This was the second time in the last few months that something was going on and I didn’t feel support from my friends.
My initial reaction was anger. These are supposed to be my friends, it’s their job to listen to my problems, right??? RIGHT??? Well yes and no, your friends should be who you can come to in a time of trouble but they aren’t emotional garbage cans. I can think back to times where I had individuals in my life call me and ruminate for hours about the same situation. I’d sit on the other end listening laboriously to what they had to say to be supportive but secretly wanting to shoot myself in the head. Like it or not in that moment I was one of those people. As much as I loved those individuals I honestly didn’t want to hear whatever that had going after a certain point. Yes I cared to know that they were okay and I wanted them to depend on my but basically I was a sounding board for them while they tried to make sense of whatever was happening with and to them. After making this connection, I’ve allowed myself to give grace to my friends. It’s not that they don’t care about me but honestly, they don’t care about my problems. They have enough of their own and carrying on someone else’s is just a bit too much.
So then what do you do when you’re going through challenges? Find other outlets. The first thing I always do when I’m going through is pray (although now I realize I need to do waaaaaay more of that and less talking). I have found that when you pray the only person that can get tired of you releasing is you. You don’t have to worry about being judged, the wrong thing being said you, or feeling rejected when you don’t get the response you feel you need. Also, hobbies are beneficial. Growing up I did lots of arts and crafts with my mother. As an adult I find that they can be highly therapeutic. In addition, working out and journaling have proven to be constructive as well. Whatever your delight, place your energy in that. As a result you can become more independent and resilient. Win-wins across the board.