I recently treated myself to an adventure. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was a spur-of-the-moment road trip to see the space shuttle arriving in Los Angeles atop a modified 747 aircraft.
I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that it was a successful trip, I had a perfect viewing spot, and when it was over I was stoked!
So stoked, in fact, that I simply had to share my experience with someone who cared about such things, so I called one of my friends (who is also in Los Angeles) with whom I have been on several trips to see solar eclipses.
“I just saw the shuttle! Whatever you do, don’t miss it when it gets to your area in about three hours!” I said breathlessly.
“I already have a place picked out,” he replied.
“I had the greatest spot,” I continued. “I was so close that it wouldn’t even fit in my binoculars’ field of view!”
“I have already seen the shuttle on the 747; I had a wide angle lens on my camera and I was still so close that I couldn’t even get the whole thing in,” he deadpanned.
“I went to the air force base a couple of years ago when the shuttle landed there.”
I could almost hear the wind rushing out of my sails. What a bummer.
Instead of being excited for me and appreciating my encouragement to have a great experience, he had to top my story with his own.
It occurred to me that when we do this to our friends, we may be alienating them. True, if they play the same way they may not even notice or care, but that’s not the point.
The point is that to be a good friend you just don’t act like that!
We need our friends if we want to lower our stress. They are an important resource for venting or distraction from problems.
Just like any good resource, we should treat them well not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because we want them to be there when we need them, just like we want to be there for them when they need us.
Imagine the stress of losing a good friend ... YIKES!
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