I’ve just spent an hour on the phone with a good friend, who is distressed about relationships and health. One of the reasons he calls me, when he feels this way, is that he knows about my feelings of unworthiness, of having been a failure, of not accomplishing any of the big things I wanted to do in my life; and of my process of overcoming those feelings. We talk about once every two weeks, and I try very hard to use the listening skills about which I spoke in this post.
Tonight, though, was more difficult than ever, because I hear these negative feelings he expresses about himself, and after every sentence, I want to shake him a little and tell him that his life has value. I did fairly well, in this conversation, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut through the whole thing. I caught myself every time but one. Just-ph., thank you for being so patient with me when I can no longer keep my mouth shut.
My hope for this situation, and this friend, is for him to come to know, somehow, what a decent, wonderful guy he is, and how lucky I feel to have him as a friend. I don’t let a phone call end without telling him these things. Hopefully, one day, he’ll believe them.