Having a conversation with a friend when you feel down can be a highly rewarding experience for both you and your friend. This conversation is an amazing opportunity to honor your friend by celebrating the fact that you trust them enough to confide in them.
From my experience with this type of talk, I’ve found that there are a few things to keep in mind so that this conversation can be a strong positive experience for both of you.
- Honor your friend’s schedule (if possible)- Sometimes, when we are feeling down, we tend to call our friend with the intention of talking about how we are feeling right this minute. This strategy can be hard on our friend because they are often already in the middle of doing something. So it’s probably most effective to schedule a time to talk. Scheduling a time to talk helps insure that our friend is in a place to give us their full attention. And it also allows us to collect our thoughts and become clearer as to what we want to talk with our friend about. (The exception to scheduling a time to talk is if you really feel you are in an emergency situation. Then call your friend and say, “I am in an emergency situation, can we please talk now.)
- As you talk to your friend, honor their listening by expressing how you are feeling honestly and clearly.
- Express emotion to your level of comfort. Do this in such a way that you are expressing how you feel, and at the same time honoring the safety of both you and your friend. This means that you are focusing on releasing your painful emotions out into the open air rather than directing them towards your friend or back towards yourself. Think of your emotional energy as releasing from you like smoke from a chimney. You want this chimney to go straight up from you, so that you are not smoking out your friend or coughing on your own smoke.
- When your friend offers a comment, listen closely to them and to your reactions to what they are saying. Listen for the light at the end of the tunnel.
- If you feel like you really just need to express your sadness and frustration, be clear and say. “I want to express my sadness and frustration right now without focusing on ways to feel better.” Cues like this let your friend know how to best help you, and also help you maintain your focus on what you are feeling, instead of becoming frustrated and nitpicking about how your friend is responding to you.
These are a few ideas to keep in mind the next time you feel down and reach out to talk with a friend. By reaching out with respect, you honor both your friend and yourself and create a nice atmosphere for a healing conversation.
Game of the Day
What will your approach be the next time that you are feeling down and reach out to a friend?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.