First of all, let me say it loud and clear that I am a shitty friend myself. Now that it’s out of the way, l can share my process of how I am trying to be a less shitty friend. If you are reading this and wondering which one of your friends can be less shitty, it’s most likely you. Here are a few ( three, to be specific) ideas you could use:
Stop judging all the time! It’s already hard to navigate through this highly judgmental society; our friends don’t need that from us. When asked, constructive criticism can be an excellent tool for growth. But judgmental comments never helped anyone. I, personally, am guilty of this one. I have constantly commented on one of my friend’s unhealthy eating habits and how she was ruining her health. If I were a little less judgmental a tiny bit more observant; I would have noticed her declining mental health that was causing her unhealthy relationship with food. I could have been more supportive and maybe helped her with her struggles. It’s unfortunate that we often receive the harshest and meanest comments from our closest friends and family. And believe me, only a very few of them are actually horrible people. Half the time they don’t even know how cruel their words are. If someone tells you you’re being hurtful, instead of calling him/her a “snowflake”, accept that you can be insensitive at times.
“My pain is worse than your pain” mentality. It’s really not a race! We all have that one friend who always, always complains about absolutely everything. Workload, partner, lack of partner, children, the weather, you name it. It’s always just the hardest for her! If you can detect this pattern, stop right away. If a friend shares her struggles, try to be supportive by telling you are struggling too. Telling people whatever they are struggling with is nothing compared to your personal struggle doesn’t make them feel better.
Respect boundaries. The South Asian part of my brain is laughing hysterically now. Boundaries? What boundaries?! As adults we make fewer close friends and more acquaintances. And that’s perfectly alright. But even with close friends we need to be careful of boundaries. Boundaries and South Asians is a lengthy topic to discuss. But for starters, stop commenting on your friend’s food/ clothing preferences. Hard, isn’t it? With practice, we will get there.
Do you have something to add? Let me know in the comments section instead of facebook messenger. I am talking to you, Moureen.
Day 4: March 10, 2019