I wrote recently about encouraging a stranger which was a task I found challenging. It was a lot easier for me to reach out to a friend in an uplifting way. Even so, I think that I hold myself back at times from doing so because I worry I won’t have the right comment to add or that I’ll seem overly-invested in their life in a way that disrupts the balance of the friendship. As a single person, I assume that I need positive input more than my partnered friends who have someone else in their life. When I step back, I realize that isn’t necessarily the case as people may share and receive kindness in different ways.
I am also aware that I bring some expectations to a check-in with a friend. When I ask someone how they are doing, I’m really asking for an answer and I feel closest to those who give me a full update rather than a curt “all’s well” in reply. I pity those who ask me how I’m doing with an expectation of it being merely a greeting, as I usually have a steady stream of consciousness about the current state of my life ready to go. How often do you reach out to those with whom you are close to encourage them? How does it affect your relationship?