I just like using the word “llama” with something…
Today I want to talk about what we do with our headspace. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, talks about how people connect. Connections can be formed from supporting one another to overcome a challenge or built from people bonding over a “common negative”.
What’s a “common negative”? Basically, when we can complain about the same thing, we feel a connection, feel heard. However, Brene Brown also discusses how that common negative only creates a surface level connection, and more often than not any relationship built on the common negative lacks depth.
Wow. How many times have we been in an environment where there was a complaint- and then everyone else jumped on it and started complaining as well and it built up to a toxic, chaotic, character assassination, emotional roller coaster? Look at our politics- or social media.. it’s everywhere.
If I were to make a post on social media, complaining that a grocery store clerk gave me an attitude and shoved my bags of groceries into the cart too forcefully… I would bet that I would find people rallying with me on how untrained, rude, and incompetent these grocery store clerks are. This is not to say that a real experience doesn’t warrant sticking up for yourself, someone else or stating facts; but when is it healthy and when is it toxic? When is it value added for good change and support versus when is it just a bunch of hot air, drama, and gossip?
I’ve had a few experiences lately where I’ve seen people I thought I had built a connection with, turn out to be “fair weather” friends. I’m grateful for this. A “fair weather” friend is one who is surface level and only maintains a friendship for an event or period of time. The connection lacks depth.
I have also had a few experiences lately where people who I thought were nice acquaintances reveal that they are loyal, steadfast friends. I think the difference is headspace.
When I look at the fair weather friend individuals I see that most of our interactions were “complaining” (both me and them). Conversations did not expand beyond the “complaint” and we really didn’t know much about one another.
The loyal, steadfast friends are different. We may share complaints, but we also share vulnerability. We are transparent. We challenge one another. We support and lift one another up- and it isn’t one sided. For example, if I say to the loyal friend, “I can’t stand when people cut me off in traffic.” They may respond, “Traffic was horrible today. Maybe they didn’t mean to cut you off.” See. Balance. Or they may respond, “Ugh that sucks. I hate when people do that too. So how was your workout today?” Supportive, shared a common negative but then moved on.
If you have gotten this far in reading, my message that I want to share is this: what kind of individual are you? Are you the fair weather friend? The loyal, steadfast one? Are you both- a fair weather to some and a loyal, steadfast to others? What we do with our time and our headspace matters. Where we put our energy matters. In my journey to self-discovery I am learning that oftentimes my energy has not been directed to the right place. I have a responsibility to look at what I say, how I say it, how I think about it, who I’m interacting with, and how.
‘Cause we don’t need no llama drama.. Ain’t nobody got time for that.