If we leave our friends out of our healing process when dealing with trauma and/or serious problems, our friendships can begin to feel shallow. Two of my friends, I will name as A and M to protect them, have promised me to help me no matter what.
Actually, person A told me that, “…at no point should you feel you are intruding or that I’m not here for you. If you need to talk with someone or just have someone on the phone so you do not feel alone, I want you to know you can always call me.” What a true friend.
Person M told me, “Be kind to yourself and PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE. Sorry to sound angry but I’m a bit upset that you didn’t reach out and call me. I expect you to call my cell, which is on my nightstand, whenever you need me. I mean this. Don’t make me come down there and hurt you.” Okay she was kidding on that last threat, but I know I love my dear friend for all she means to me.
When we are going through a difficult time, we may hesitate to call even our best friends because we don’t want to burden them with our troubles. This can be especially true if we’ve been going through a series of challenges, and we’re starting to feel as if we sound like a broken record. It is important to remember that at times like these our friends sincerely want to be there for us whenever they can. We can always check with them to make sure it’s a good time for them before we start talking, and if it’s not a good time, we can call back at another time, or call another friend.
We know for ourselves that when we have a good friend, we don’t want them to suffer alone when we are just a phone call away. We want them to call us and share their sorrows with us, as well as their joys, because this is what sharing a life through friendship is about. It is at our lowest points that we really need to rely on our friends without worrying that we are a burden. If you are feeling self-conscious about having a tough time, you can bring this fact into the conversation by acknowledging it. Chances are your friend will reassure you that she is happy to be there for you. In fact, rather than feeling taxed, most of us feel better when we have helped a friend simply by listening empathically while they share their feelings.
Without our friends, we would be hard pressed to get through the tough times and celebrate the good ones. If we leave our friends out of our process when the going gets tough, our friendships can begin to feel shallow. On the other hand, when we include our friends in the full story of our life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—we build authentic relationships in which we can be who we truly are. When we do this, we invite our friends to bring their whole selves to the relationship as well.
It’s a win-win situation, one which I personally trust will last a long time. Please take this advice and call on your friends for help. They want and need you to, as much as you need to have them.