Upon hearing about the death of Kate Spade, and having that bring the memory of the late great Entrepreneur Titi Branch to mind, I decided that now is a decent time to consider the life of the Strong Friend. When you read stories of these ladies that seems to be the common thread, they were the type of people that you could always count on, and that were willing to go the extra mile to get the job done and build a legacy for themselves and others.
When the world views you in a certain light, if you are not extremely careful, you can begin to believe the things that people say and start working to meet their expectations as opposed to accepting your truth. It’s hard to keep the noise out without professional help. It’s also hard to get a good referral to a therapist without showing the real you. The friend that you can always call, count on, lean on needs you just as much as you need them, but they may never tell you because they don’t want to let you down.
HERE’S THE DEAL- While every individual has the responsibility to supply their own happiness, as friends we should save some room to be a set of eyes on the outside for one another. If you see your friend taking on way too much, consider that before you ask for just one more thing. If you think that you’ll have a hard time holding this conversation with your friend feel free to copy and paste the below:
You are the strongest person that I know. I want you to know that I both expect and hope that the answer to some of my requests is “No.” You do not owe me an explanation because I know your heart. It’s my deepest wish, that you take care of yourself even more than you look out for me. I love you, friend. Don’t let the various raggedy bitches of the world wear you down, even the ones you love the most!
It’s hard being the strong friend, it’s also hard having a strong friend when you just want to see them unplug everybody else’s cord from their battery before it runs out. Do what you can to be a source of positivity and take the problems that you have to more than just your circle, let that be a pit stop on the way to some professional help. We have to encourage and pull away from the shame so that we can all thrive and grow strong on the inside by not having to put on the show for the outside.
Happiness is a choice, not a destination.
Go be good to one another!