Helping Friends with Analysis vs. Comforting

Found out today that if you try to help your friends, say by analyzing their problem in order to discover a solution, they might get pissed off at you, and claim you’re not being their friend. That’s not to say you didn’t mean well, but your friend really just wanted to be comforted, rather than analyzed. Their problem may seem big, but they’re despairing about because they do not have the inner comforting necessary to handle it themselves. So comforting them is a much better immediate solution, and then they’ll know that you care about them, rather than about yourself appearing like the cool problem solver you’d like to be seen as. At least, this is how it worked out for me.

The fantasy of the friend (feminine energy friend) might be something like a sparkly guy on a white horse riding in to save them from their enemies, but that too seems lame to the problem-solver (you, perhaps). Truth is, when your friend gets comfort, despite your non-sparkliness, they just might forget their fantasy and appreciate you as you are. In this environment, friendship blossoms.

Keep in mind though that though traditionally men and women play these roles, we have within us both perspective, the “male” and “female” in the above conflict – that’s how I “discovered” it – by playing through it in myself.

Helping Others

Today’s discovery: When you’re trying to help someone, there are two compulsions that arise – one is positive and wants to do anything it can, and the other is negative and hates suffering and can’t stand it when anyone is suffering nearby. If the negative one tries to help, it pulls out its back of tricks and theories for what might help, dumps it on the suffering person and demands they go through every single method, now. In this way, the part of us that hates suffering can create suffering in others.
The positive part on the other hand, considers where it may be wrong and welcomes whatever the suffering person says, in an upbeat way. That positive voice may not know right away how to help, but it learns from what the suffering person says, and so can eventually get to the heart of the problem. Do you know these two sides of you in this kind of situation? Are you secure enough to not freak out when your friends are hurting? : )