Believe it or not, self-compassion does not solely address socially acceptable difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, career decisions, perfectionism, etc. It also covers the experiences that we are lax to admit for fear that others will judge us. One such issue is how to deal with the friend, who is seemingly happy all of the time.
We all know someone that flies through life like a beaming ray of sunshine, and while we love them for this quality, on our darker days, it is enough to make us crazy. We do not admit this outwardly. It is our inside voice that says, “Can you please turn your sunshine down? I am too stressed, annoyed, anxious, or tired to hear every happy thought, noise, or karaoke moment you are going to have today!”
Are We Monsters?
We want to share these thoughts, but what kind of monster upends the rainbow driven, bubble making, candy-coated experience of someone we hold dear? The real answer is, of course, you, but not for the reason that you think. You are going to say something, so that you can give yourself and this person permission to be as the two of you are. That is real compassion. They are free to swim in the sea of excitement for as long as they like. They just need to swim away from you, so that you can feel tired, or anxious, or even annoyed because that is what your body needs to process your experience in this moment.
This kind of honesty also allows the other person to ask you permission to be fantastically mirthful in the future, when they worry that doing so will interfere with your need to have a quieter, less enthusiastic day. This kind of flexibility promotes healthy relationships, relational advocacy, and self-acceptance. It frees us up to love ourselves, and other people by extension in the short-term and long-term.
Self-Compassion Exercise For Dealing With Your Happy Friends
So, how do you go about this? You want to address it as soon you become aware of it. Hold on to it too long, and by the time you say something, you will be so full of fireworks that you might blow their head off, and your head too.
Instead, notice the feeling as it emerges. Label it. Make space for it. Remind yourself that you come by it naturally, and then state with the intention of kindness to yourself and your friend that you love them, but need to have a kind of low energy day to recover from being so busy. This is key. Do not apologize for your experience. Let yourself feel the way that you feel, remembering along the way that it is necessary to do so to continue loving your friend, and to allow them to be themselves in the future.
And, bada-bing friendship explosion averted! No, seriously, you would be surprised how many friendships are unnecessarily damaged by people assuming that the other person’s disposition is a cease and desist order on their own emotional experience and needs. You do not need to be like your friends to love them. In fact, they probably picked you because you were different, and balanced them out in some way. Give them enough credit to show you that they care about you enough to accept all of you without judgment. The way you desire to accept them.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 182. In The Books.