All my life I’ve been “The Positive One, The Strong One, and The Real One” to everybody else and “The Weakest” to myself.
Now how can that be?
I have always been my own worst critic and I’ve always had the ability to see the good in everybody else but myself. I have done everything you can think of to get out of that negative space and become the person I am today. I’ve created sticky notes with self-affirmations, I’ve written my feelings down in a journal, I’ve prayed, I’ve forgiven, I’ve communicated, you name it! Sometimes I still have my moments, but who doesn’t?
I can tell everybody else what to do and help everyone else BUT myself. I go through things OFTEN and sometimes (even as a wife) I feel so alone, like nobody understands, and I struggle with STUFF. But we all have STUFF. But I’m so used to being the one that people can call and relate to, that sometimes I wonder who “I” can call. So I just deal with it, I cry, and I get right back to life because “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That”. Instead of sulking, I try to focus on good things to take my mind off of the bad with positive self-talk. I try to remember that there are people out there worse off than me and think about how blessed I really am.
Though this is how I feel on the INSIDE, on the OUTSIDE I always have a smile on my face. It’s actually a habit I picked up after being told that I “looked stuck up” in middle school. Ever since I have always been determined to “look approachable” since apparently society judges what’s on the outside before they can even get to know what’s on the inside. Also, as The Positive One I’m all about positive vibes and positive energy. My husband always tells me how people love me and how likable I am. My mom likes to point out to me all the time how people stare at me when I walk by.
I never notice.
Have you checked on your strong friend today? Ya know, the one you call for advice, the one who reminds you that everything will be okay, the one who keeps it real and tells you like it is, the one who does more listening than talking and doesn’t mind at all, the one who doesn’t complain about being there because that’s what friends are for, and the one who talks you off the ledge sometimes?
Funny thing about being The Strong One is the fact that being strong is a defense mechanism. It comes from painful experiences that you don’t want repeated so you shield yourself by not letting yourself go back to that state. We were not born to shield our thoughts and emotions though, reasons why when we allow things to build up we end up crumbling and breaking down. Sometimes we just have so much going on that we don’t even notice that we are putting our emotions to the side because we are just that out of tune with our emotions.
Did you know that I have a degree in Psychology? I am intrigued by people, I am very in tune with thoughts, emotions, behavior, communication skills, childhood, nature vs. nurture etc. I can understand both sides of any situation and understand why someone feels how they feel or do what they do. I may not agree but I am still capable of understanding which makes me The Real One, because I have no problem calling BS and telling you how I feel.
All of these things combined make me the perfect candidate for the strong friend! It’s no wonder why I am the one people depend on to listen and offer good advice.
I always find myself in some situation where I am helping someone else and I can barely help myself. I give some BOMB advice to everybody else, but can’t give that same BOMB advice to myself when I’m not in a positive space. It’s practically the end of the world when you add in my dramatic personality. I also don’t count on getting any BOMB advice from anyone else, so I just keep it to myself. I don’t trust people. ISSA PROBLEM.
I remember one of my friends had the nerve to call me out on “not really knowing me”. She mentioned how she always opens up and talks to me about her stuff and how I never really talk about my stuff. If only she knew that she never stopped to ask and that when she talks I can never get a word in lol. But honestly, I like listening better than I do talking. I learn so much by listening. Not only about the person speaking but about myself. Whenever I talk about myself I feel like I’m either bragging or complaining. Part of me also feels like I’m sparing people, and the other part feels like if I tell you what I have going on and you can’t contribute or provide a solution then why should I even bother telling you. So you can say tell me “that’s great” or “wow that’s a lot”? That’s not a good way of thinking but that’s really how I feel. In turn, I also follow that when I’m the listener. I will not offer my unsolicited advice unless someone asks for it and I won’t give it unless I can contribute or provide a solution.
I mean am I wrong? If you are always calling a friend about your issues, can you help that same friend with their own issues?
Sometimes I feel like when you are depended on to be the positive one, the strong one, or the real one it creates pressure for yourself and high expectations. Also, you always run the risk of being taken advantage of. Who wants that? I was raised to give without expecting anything back and to treat people how I would want to be treated so that God can bless me tenfold. “Do good and good will come back to you” is what my mom used to say. But what about the other people in the world who were taught “if it’s broke don’t fix it”. Why would I stop coming to you for help if you are the solution to all my problems?
In case you didn’t know, the positive one, the strong one, and the real one needs someone like that too. We get tired and we have our weak moments too. This post is not a complaint, it’s just a reality that gets overlooked. We all have problems, we all have bad days, we all have weak moments, no one is super man or super woman.
To my fellow Strong Friends out there, you deserve the love that you give so freely to others. You deserve to have someone who can be positive for you, be strong for you, and be real with you too.
Now go check on the positive one, the strong one, and the real one in your life. Even if it’s your husband, your mother, or whoever. They may need you, and even if they don’t they appreciate you checking in.