I can’t even lie, this blog started as a 4am brain dump mixed with a bunch of emotions that probably won’t make sense to a lot of you reading it… but I hope that it helps those who need it.
So, what is a strong friend? It’s that friend you go to when you want advice, support, a spare score, etc etc. I know that that person in your life came to mind. It’s often the person who listens a lot, and offloads… well not so much. They’re that friend that always seems to have it all together, even when they do not.
Now often enough we always see those posts talking about “check on your strong friend”, but if you, like me are the strong friend, we both know that it’s just a post and never an actual action… sometimes. In all honesty, it’s hard to offload sometimes because it’s always met with toxic positivity. You’re so busy being told to man up or be strong to the point where nobody allows you the chance to be weak. You don’t get to vent. You don’t get to mope and pretend there’s no solution. You have to be strong at all times, and it’s draining… I know.
Like I said, this piece is for the strong friends… so of course I am going to leave with you some tips that I found have helped me.
1. Try to Be More Open
I understand it can be so hard to be open when you feel like people don’t care or won’t try to care… but your friends absolutely do! You’re going to have to learn to be vulnerable, and allow your friends in. Unfortunately, everyone can’t read your mind, nor will they always understand you the first time you try to explain yourself. but that doesn’t mean give up on the first hurdle. This is where communication comes in.. and trust me, it will help you feel better.
2 Acknowledge How You Feel
This is where the real homework comes in.. because I know that a lot of the time, we pretend we don’t have any feelings. We act so desensitised to the way we feel, we stop acknowledging how we feel… and well, that’s no bueno. Nobody is going to truly understand you the way that you understand yourself. So, it is important to keep it real with yourself and address how you feel in a healthy way.
3 Set Your Boundaries
I be saying this allllll the time, but it is so real. YOU HAVE TO SET BOUNDARIES. Like… I get it, you listen well, your patient and kind, but nobody sent you to be agony aunt/uncle.. you didn’t set your boundaries and now people are dumping their emotional baggage on you. That is absolutely not it. How can you ever unpack your feelings when you’re carrying everyone else’s? It is okay to say no, it is okay to be selfish from time to time, but it is important to put you first. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Now I’m not gonna lie, strong or not, a friend is a friend.. and just because you have that one that listens every time and always seems good, it proper does not mean that they are. Reciprocate the empathy, patience and kindness they give you. Listen to understand, and not to respond. be patient with your friend, they want to rely on you the way you do on them, and they will… in due time.
It doesn’t change overnight, but it does get better.. and I hope I helped!
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”