- August 2, 2017
After being laid up with what I’ve been assured can be called ‘Bambi legs’, as well as various other virus-type symptoms for the weekend, I ventured out from my recovery to sit on my stoop with a visiting friend and catch up on the world outside. I can’t undersell how good friends are when you’re feeling spaced out and not hugely connected to anything.
I was explaining how I had ended up in bed dozing fitfully for two days straight. “You know that thing where I’ve been doing too much but I don’t realise because I’m in the middle of it and then I get ill and don’t realise until someone says – ‘have a word with yourself’? That.” My pal nodded sagely.
And I couldn’t help but agree how invaluable it is to have at least one ‘someone’, who will pull me aside and let me know calmly what I’m speeding past too fast to see.
I try to offer that same favour in return, but it’s a tricky navigation to perform. How do you let someone know a bit of ‘helpful’ advice without it becoming bossy interference? To be honest, I tend to feel that you know yourself best, so if someone looks like their losing touch with that I might ask them a few questions.
Don’t realise until someone says – ‘have a word with yourself’
I don’t know about you, but I don’t react too well when friends – however wellmeaning – start trying to issue ‘facts’ about me and my life while I’m in the middle of living it. Whereas someone saying to me: ‘Are you feeling okay?’, ‘You know it’s alright if you don’t get everything done today…’, and ‘Just because you want to make them cookies, it doesn’t mean you have to make them cookies for this visit….’ Well, it helps give me a bit of perspective. And I can also ignore them without getting into an argument about it – which is always a bonus.
It’s quite abrupt to tell someone something about themselves. Equally annoying when you hold back and go: “Ha! I was waiting for you to work that one out!” I can’t tell you the amount of control I mustered not to knock that particular bright spark’s block off.
The trick is to find a balance. “Do you think you could be…?” works just as well as “Have you ever thought of…?” And they don’t have to be embraced from the off. Just leave them there to germinate. And hopefully your pals won’t end up with stupid ‘Bambi legs’. Think I’ll have another doze.