Sunday, July 15, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Friend wants bestie to share more feelings

Q: I have a friend who is not good at expressing vulnerability. We've been best friends for three years and only once has she opened up to me about traumatic life experiences — and only then because we forced ourselves to talk about emotions by playing "Feelings Roulette." She never asks for emotional support, even for small issues, though she's great about giving me support.

Her reticence makes me feel awkward and too needy when I express vulnerability to her.

It also makes me feel unsure about the state of our relationship, like we're not as good friends as I want us to be, though I know she considers me her best friend and loves me deeply.

Obviously I don't want to pressure her into sharing more than she's comfortable with, but the current state of affairs makes me really unhappy. I want to demonstrate my love for her by giving her emotional support and care when she needs it; I want her to be vulnerable with me. What can I do?

Why Won't She Just Talk to Me??

A: First thing I imagined was a signature on her letter: Why Won't She Just Accept Me?? But that's funny because she wouldn't write to me. That's not how she works.

I can say this without knowing her because that's what you've told me she has been telling you, over and over: Gut-spilling is not how she works.

If your motivation is love for her, then please direct your energy to giving of yourself in the form she most appreciates. Consider that it's the companionship you provide her, the trust you place in her when you show your honest self, the respect for her ways that you demonstrate by not pressuring her to talk.

If these did indeed put the "best" in your friendship, then maybe the way to improve on it would be for you simply to trust that. As in, like her as-is; trust that she either likes herself as-is or will tell you on her own timetable and in her own way that she doesn't; and trust yourself to be likable too, without having to earn it through amazing feats of support.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Wifeís beefs with family are indefensible

Q: My wife occasionally picks fights with members of my family of origin, especially my sister. What am I supposed to do about that? The general guidance is that protecting my spouse from my family of origin is my responsibility, but it was my wife t...
Published: 07/15/18
Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

There was a time, believe it or not, when Rascal Flatts was considered cutting-edge country. Okay, "cutting-edge" might be pushing it ó the trioís wholesome, harmony-laden style was never all that controversial. Still, when you survey the pop- and R&...
Published: 07/13/18
8 things to do this weekend: Sam Smith, SharkCon, Extreme Mud Wars, deal at Chihuly

8 things to do this weekend: Sam Smith, SharkCon, Extreme Mud Wars, deal at Chihuly

Concert Sam Smith and Cam: On Friday, Sam Smith (Stay With Me) is coming to Tampa with opening act Cam, whose latest country single Diane is one of Nashville’s most rollicking of the past year. Smith is the headliner but both acts are worth ca...
Published: 07/13/18

Tell Me About It: Decision to adopt must be her own

Q: Iím a 45-year-old single woman who is financially secure and a self-described introvert. I am happy being single, have a decent job, own a home, and have created a good life for myself. I badly want to adopt or foster a child on my own and I have ...
Published: 07/12/18
Top things to do this week: SharkCon with Richard Dreyfuss, Mud Wars

Top things to do this week: SharkCon with Richard Dreyfuss, Mud Wars

SHARKCON: Richard Dreyfuss and Sharknado starsIn its fifth year, SharkCon has expanded from a weekend all about sharks with a touch tank, ocean bounce house and science talks, adding a comic con element with celebrity appearances by Richard Dreyfuss,...
Published: 07/11/18
5 things to do under $5 this week: Chihuly glass art, Eichmann exhibit, Back to School Bash

5 things to do under $5 this week: Chihuly glass art, Eichmann exhibit, Back to School Bash

1 Chihuly Anniversary Weekend: To celebrate its eighth anniversary, admission is $5 at the Chihuly Collection of glass art from famed artist Dale Chihuly. In addition to the permanent collection of glass art, a special exhibition is on display. "Stor...
Published: 07/11/18

Tell Me About It: Tensions mount between adult sisters

Our daughter "Annie" has moved back home at age 33 to save some money while doing postdoc work and teaching college courses. She contributes to household expenses. Our daughter "Bonnie" has moved back home at 29 after a sudden breakup, bringing our 1...
Published: 07/11/18

Tell Me About It:

Introvert wonders if it has gone too farQ: Does there reach a point on the introversion scale where youíve gone too far? I work from home and rarely see other people besides my wife. Iím finding more and more that I like it that way and donít really ...
Published: 07/10/18

Tell Me About It: Mom suspects boyfriend controls daughter

Q: My daughter and her boyfriend moved into my house a few months ago because they were having financial difficulties and I wanted her to be able to finish her degree, which she did in May. I started noticing how little she wanted to communicate with...
Published: 07/10/18

Tell Me About It: Knowing how to respond to overreactions

Q: My boyfriend and I are both avid readers. He decided to read a new book, which I have already read. When he pulled out his book, I said, "That book is wild! I think you are going to like it."He got upset that I ruined his chance at having an unadu...
Published: 07/10/18