I’m eating lunch at a delicious ramen noodle place in Denver (so trendy), and I overhear a woman talking to her two female friends about a breakup.
“I just put his stuff outside the house. And, of course I couldn’t do it without tequila.”
They sighed knowingly.
Then, an interesting thing happened. The other two women started taking turns offering up something their husbands do that they despise.
“Ryan plays video games for an hour after work and I’m like, can I have the TV back please?”
“Totally! Mark does that with football and I can’t stand it.”
Ladies—we need to stop relating this way.
We often do this kind of relating, one-upping (“That’s nothing—wait til you here what Tom did…”) and storytelling (“That reminds me of the time…”) because we don’t know how else to connect and offer compassion.
Man-shaming is far from a vulnerable, powerful way to connect.
So, I offer this to you today if a friend or loved one shares with you something that’s hurting them:
How am I feeling in my body as they’re sharing this? Does what they’re sharing make me uncomfortable? How can I be with whatever I’m feeling and still be present to their experience?
How can I be engaged and present to them and the essence of what they’re feeling? (Hint: If you’re really not sure, ask how they would like to be supported.)