Who is She?
We all know her. Or at least have one.
You know, that friend that no matter what always seems to have together.
The friend who has been through a lot herself but is always there for you no matter what.
She is the witty friend with the best laugh and can turn anyone’s mood from frowns to smiles in a matter of minutes.
She just has her stuff together.
Keeper of all your secrets.
Author of so many good times.
She has been there for you at your best.
And with no hesitation is there for at your worst.
She is your Ace. Your ride or die.
The Thelma to your Louise.
She is by all definition “Your Strong Friend”.
What is a Strong Friend?
The one that is at every birthday party that comes early and stays late.
The host of every shower; wedding or baby.
She was a bridesmaid when you said “I do.”
The honorary auntie to all your kids.
Your emergency baby sitter, dog walker, your last minute errand extraordinaire.
There is nothing your “strong friend” can’t or won’t do for you.
But do you know language that the “strong” speak?
Or rather don’t speak.
Language of the Strong
The language that tells her that she is not doing enough even though she has given her all.
The voice that tells to be like an anchor even though she has no clue where to locate her own personal life raft.
Your warrior friend.
You’ve hardly ever seen her cry. And can’t remember the last time you saw her sweat.
You know that she loves you unconditionally and you love her just the same, if not more.
Where Do the Strong Go?
Who does the “go to person” go to:
- When their empathy for others leaves them exhausted?
- And their compassion for their loved ones consumes them?
Strong Friend? Is that You?
Or are you the strong friend?
The one that feels you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Do you have your own secret laundry list of struggles that you won’t share in fear that you may be a burden?
Whether you have a strong friend or are the strong one, it is important to share and know that no one can make it out here alone.
How to Show Up for the Strong
Here are 4 ways to be a parachute to your strong friends or to yourself:
- Check in often
We get it. You’re busy. She’s busy. Life is hectic. But don’t let too much time go by before you check in see how she is doing, what’s new, or to just say “hi.” You may not have a lot of time to call but a quick “WYD” or “How are you” can go a long way and mean a lot.
2. Be Intentional
With time being a commodity, make sure that any plans made are intentional and serve a purpose. There’s no need for an agenda for a happy hour date or Saturday brunch, but respect both your schedules by being proactive about getting together, putting it on the calendar, and making sure it happens. You may never know just how much a night of frozen margaritas or morning mimosas really means to her.
She is your friend and is always there for you. She knows you are going through some things and proactively checks in with you. However, you should take a second and also check in with her. Oftentimes, your strong friend won’t express her own struggles in fear that it may deflect from yours. But we are ALL going through something. Share and reiterate with her that you are willing and available to be a refuge for her too.
4. Encourage Boundaries
If you knew a building was on fire and saw your friend walking toward it, you would do everything possible to prevent them entering right? That is the same energy you have to have when you see your friend take on too much. If she is a strong friend to you, chances are this is the way she shows up for others (spousal, parental, family, work, etc. relationships). So be a friend to a friend and remind her to establish healthy boundaries to avoid spreading herself too thin.