Being There When The Beast Comes Out

On a recent show segment, callers confessed to “something you often find yourself saying, but don’t mean”.

Most popular: variations on “I’m fine” or “Doing great!”

Sometimes when I lie about that, it’s a little lie. Sometimes it’s a big fat one.

TV sportscaster Michael Strahan recently told a story about a lifelong friend who canceled dinner plans with him on a Friday night. His buddy admitted that his depression and anxiety simply got the better of him and he couldn’t make it.

“The beast got out of the box on me”.

Some of us are familiar with the beast. If you’re not, that’s a good thing.

All around us are fully functional people who battle the beast everyday. In a office. While driving. Cooking dinner for the family. Leading lives of success and, often, as they are the envy of peers who think he or she “has it all”.

Strahan told his friend that he wished the guy had told him a long time ago “so I could have been there for you for 30 years!”

Easier said than done.

If I may, let me suggest what I think people DON’T need: they don’t need you to recommend professional help, or to buy them a book. They don’t need a calendar of inspirational sayings. Don’t need some herbal tea, or a candle.

They don’t need you to say “call me if you need anything”. They may not “need” anything, per se, and they’re not going to call.

Just be there. Call them, and talk about stuff that doesn’t require your friend to reveal HIS beast stuff. Talk about life, kids, sports, food. Tell them something crazy that just happened. A joke. Maybe even ask them their advice on something they’re good at.

True friendship isn’t fixing their beast, or even trying to. Like Michael Strahan said, it’s just being there.

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