Every friend group has one- "The Strong Friend." The strong friend is the person you always call when you need advice or a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen. The strong friend is the one who always asks you if you're okay, always offers help, and always seem like they have their own life relatively put together. We all love our strong friend, but when was the last time anyone was strong for them? It's great to have that friend who is always there for you, but unfortunately, that friend doesn't always get anyone there for them when they need it, and that can be really difficult. Sometimes being the "Strong Friend" isn't all it's cracked up to be.
1. No one checks on you.
When you're the "Strong Friend" you do a lot of checking in. You will send those texts asking someone how a friend is holding up when you know they've been going through something tough. However, often times, you will not be given the same courtesy. It isn't because your friends don't care about you. It is mostly because they assume that anything you have going on, you can probably handle on your own. When your friends view you as being the rock of the group, they assume you are resilient to whatever life throws at you, and therefore, it doesn't occur to them to check in on you the way you do with them. While this is flattering in a way, it can also be pretty tough. Maybe you can handle it on your own. Often times you do. But that doesn't mean that it still wouldn't be nice to know your friends care about how you're doing.
2. You get taken for granted.
You are always there for your friends. You would drop anything and everything for them, and you've never expected anything in return. Unfortunately, this sometimes means you get taken for granted. Again, your friends are not intending to be malicious, but they do start to just expect your constant support. Whether it is subconscious or they're 100% aware of it, you will immediately the person they call in a dilemma or lean on when they need someone, regardless of what you have going on in your life. And, to be fair, you may not even tell your friends what is going on in your life, and it as stated earlier, it doesn't often occur to them to ask. So, you become the constant supporter no matter the situation.
3. You can get projected on.
Sometimes when you're the pillar of your friend group, you get saddled with the large responsibility of projection. This can be your friends projecting their insecurities onto you, often in smalls ways, but sometimes in very big ways too. For instance, being lied to by your friends. This is an issue I've encountered on more than one occasion. When your friends view you as the "strong" one, or the one who has it all together, they may become ashamed to tell you certain things. Maybe they make a mistake, they automatically assume you will judge them because they see you as someone who never makes mistakes. Therefore, they'll hide it from you, or lie to you about it, or in a worst case scenario, they'll just get mad at you for judging them before you've even said anything. This is because they're judging themselves through your eyes, and this can be really difficult and unfair. Again, it's flattering that your friends view you as someone who can weather any storm or someone who keeps it all together. Nevertheless, it can be trying to be treated this way. Every human being encounters hardship and tribulation. Nobody is perfect. Not even the strongest people you know.
So, there you have it. Every group has its designated strong friend. Maybe you're the strong friend. Take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Or maybe you aren't that friend in your group, but you know who is. Reach out to them. Ask them how they're doing. Maybe they aren't in any dire need of your immediate assistance. But I can assure you that your concern for them will warm their heart and be a nice reminder that, while they may not need anyone to get through things, they have people there for if they ever do.