I have a friend who thinks he’s not a good friend. We talk about this a fair amount. He thinks this mainly because he says I do all the “heavy lifting” in our relationship. I know what he means. I’m the organizer, the one who follows through. I make sure we see each other regularly. This is my strength in many of my friendships.
But, this is definitely not the heavy lifting of a friendship. I think the real heavy lifting is showing up for each other by being vulnerable and real, by listening and caring, and by embracing what’s important to each other. The heavy lifting is in being attentive to the details of your friend’s life: what’s happening, who’s involved and what matters most to him or her. It’s assuming positive intent and being a champion for your friend.
It’s being worried when you think your friend is sick. It’s putting out all your good thoughts to The Universe when your friend is looking for a new job or starting something new. It’s calling to check in when you know your friend could use some extra caring. It’s laughter and brightening your friend’s day with a joke you share.
This is the heavy lifting between friends. It’s mutual respect. It’s prioritizing the connection and the person.
And, if you’re doing it right, this kind of heavy lifting doesn’t leave you feeling sore or tired. Just the opposite.