I considered wrapping up the whole top 5 thing with a post about the top 5 top ten lists I read this year, but thought that might be pushing it.
Think about the things that make for an actual good friend.
Not dumb shit like always being down to drink or them being someone who agrees with you when you talk about your significant other.
A really good friend, the kind who helps you be a better person.
Here are some of the things that come to mind for me.
- Someone who will confront me
- Someone who does not criticize
- Someone who doesn’t tell me “everything will be okay” just to make me feel better
- Someone who is willing to sacrifice their time when I need it, within boundaries
- Someone who will help bring me back to center
- Someone who doesn’t feed into my bullshit
These are the things I look for in people, but they are difficult to find.
The thing is, once you learn that you are not your emotions and you are not your thoughts, you can offer these things to yourself.
So much of our struggle comes from identifying with things that are not us, and may have nothing to do with us.
Realizing you are not your emotions or your thoughts allows you to confront them, to address the unfair or unreasonable expectations you might have of situations or people.
Realizing you are not your emotions or your thoughts allows you to address the constant criticism you may experience from them (really from your thoughts, but the feelings of shame and guilt you experience afterward perpetuate the criticism).
Realizing you are not your emotions or your thoughts helps you see how you attempt to soothe yourself and make believe everything will be okay, when you really need to realize they won’t unless you make some major changes.
Realizing you are not your emotions or your thoughts lets you give yourself time when you need it, without falling into self-absorbed neglect of your responsibilities.
Realizing you are not your emotions or your thoughts lets you bring yourself back to center and call yourself on your bullshit, because you aren’t caught up in believing that what you think and feel is True.
You still need people, don’t get me wrong. None of us are insightful enough or smart enough to be aware of all of our blind spots or weaknesses.
But, we can try to minimize how much of a stumbling block we are to ourselves.