I have a friend who helps me figure out life and myself and many other things besides. She is very wise and I listen to her a lot and take her advice. Her questions make me think about things differently, and her answers to mine do too. Every so often, she asks me for advice about something. I reach and stretch and fully engage my brain, and sometimes come up with something useful and helpful. Friends who have a different perspective can sometimes be the most amazing teachers. This started with her asking me for suggestions. I’m not sure, but I think sometimes she asks me things to get me to answer something I need, not something she needs.
There is one friendship I wish to salvage. I’m hoping I still can. From a male perspective, any suggestions on how I should approach it?
I am perhaps not the best person to ask. Especially right now. But I’ll try. I think it would be best to focus on what incidents caused the rupture, and what your part in those was. A lot of time has gone by probably, and some healing may be done already. That person might be ready to talk.
Atone for your part, and then give them space to decide what to do.
Thank you for your advice. It is helpful. It is a challenge to think clearly when we feel emotionally overwhelmed.
What restores you or acts as a life raft at the moment?
We all need a little hope to cling to.
I guess perspective and reflection. I told my supervisor that I was having issues. If things are affecting work, and other areas, then I can’t and shouldn’t be handling them alone.
Well done for sharing that… What gives you comfort?
Virtually nothing gives me comfort. Life without a net. It used to be the future which gave me comfort. It would always be better than the past, and I would always improve and get better. And it is, and I do, but… slowly.
I have heard many people saying “who knows what will happen in the future?” lately. If I’m only making incremental improvements, it sounds like I can only rely on the future for incremental happiness. That is, happiness in comparison to some arbitrary point in the past, not happiness in comparison to a reasonable objective standard of happiness, whatever that may be.
I’ve learned, there are no nets. Ever. By design. Life is full of cracks and holes. That’s how the light gets in. To paraphrase from the late Mr Cohen. (He should have won the Nobel prize, not Dylan, in my opinion.)
Or you can trust yourself, in the present.
I can’t trust myself currently. I had this concept: I am not my own dictator. I am my own president. I can decide what to do, but only after consulting with others. Only with input and advice. I can’t unilaterally decide something right now, because I would be uncertain of that decision.
As I advised you to admit and fix your part in your disagreement with your friend, I am going to counseling to admit and fix my part in my disagreements with life. If I’m making decisions from a place of lack and loss, I need to find out how to fill myself.
I love metaphors. Well, I used to. Lately I’ve realized that I use metaphors to tell people things about myself without telling people things about myself. To say things from behind a screen, veiled. That once-removed style is hard for most people to understand, but it also let me tell them what I thought without hurting them or myself. Or so I thought… because it hurt someone…
This isn’t good, though! Without understanding, metaphors are pointless. It’s like… A complex way to be passive-aggressive with myself and with others. What I should do is state what I think or feel directly. No guard. No net. No screen. Just raw.
“I love you.” “I don’t like that.” “You made me mad when you…” “I really like when you…” “I hated when you said…” Statements like those, with details filled in. Why can’t I do that?
Fear the other person won’t like me? It’s a mistake. They may not like the thing I said, or did, but overall, they will still like me.
Fear they’ll leave? That’s also a mistake. They might take some time for themselves, or even take some time away from me, but they won’t leave forever.
In either case, permanence is a possibility, but not a likelihood. Things, events, disagreements, they are discrete snapshots. Friendships and relationships are continuous. So I have worried too much. If a good part of my stress has been self-generated, that is very sad. How many relationships have I scuttled because of my own head? So, counseling for me.
You most certainly have turned a few corners and seem to be on the right track, for sure. I know you are going to be okay. You are so diligent with staying with your process.
I hope so.