Sometimes, I forget that not everyone is like me.
I don't mean looks, I don't mean brains. I'm talking about empathy and sympathy, about caring for another human. I forget that not everyone was raised the same way I was.
In light of recent events, the topic has come up often, at least within my family. Long story short, I've had to make sure more than usual that I am there for my best friend when she needs it (and even when she doesn't realize she does). But then again, why wouldn't I be there for her?
Back in high school, when she was going through a rough time, I stuck by her side because HELLO I adore her. My mother received a call from the school about what happened and she proceeded to thank me for being there for my bestie. I was confused by this praise. Was that not what I was already "supposed to" do?
The thing is, not everyone thinks like that. Tough times scare people off sometimes because they can't handle it, which is fair. But when my best friend needed someone to be there for her more than ever, I was prepared to be that person.
She had to miss a lot of school that year and we (me and our other close friends) couldn't visit her for a while, so we wrote letters back and forth. I wrote the most. Not as a contest, but because I cared and knew she needed to know that.
I often forget that other people may not be brought up to give as much affection as they receive. I'm not sure if it's because we get comfortable with each other and forget that we're only human and could use reassurance every so often no matter how great things are going, or if it's because we think the other person already knows how we feel.
That same best friend from high school has had a shitty past few months. Since I've been by her side for almost six years now and don't intend to go anywhere, of course I wouldn't leave her side now.
My parents and sister again thanked me for being there for her and for being a good friend and I still didn't get why it was a big deal. I'm doing what any friend should do.
I understand that some people aren't so good at emotions or consoling others or whatnot. But I guarantee that nine times out of ten, the person will feel better even if you try and don't do such a great job versus you doing nothing at all. Because at least you cared enough to try.