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Give Your Loved Ones the Gift of Your Pain

This holiday season, as we attempt to balance our recession-lightened wallets with our desire to shower our loved ones with goodies, remember that the number one thing they most likely want (aside from a Lamborghini) is to feel good about themselves.

Sure, you give all of your nearest and dearest constant adoration, praise and compliments on the tiny-ness of their hindquarters or massiveness of their manly muscles, but an even better way to make them feel like valuable members of society is to let them be there for you in your time(s) of need.

That’s right, glittering readerati, I’m saying that the best thing you can do for your friends is to let them be there for you. Use them for their stated purposes – shoulders to cry on, ears to bend and hands to hold.

There’s nothing worse for a person with a heart (which is 99% of us) than to know a friend is struggling or hurting and to be shut out from the opportunity to help them.

The reasons we shut people out are usually based in thoughtfulness,  such as the desire not to be a burden or thinking that we’re too messy for our friends to handle.

But if you ponder for a moment what makes you feel good about yourself as a person, chances are good that being a good friend ranks high on your list. And how does one go about being a good friend? By being there for one’s friends. By being their 3:00 a.m. crying phone call go-to.  By being a person that others feel comfortable baring their souls to.

And what happens if you keep all your ooey-gooey ugly bits, sadnesses and 3:00 a.m. calls to yourself? Your friends feel unworthy of your emotion dumps, which makes us feel like we’re not as good a friend as we could be. No one likes to see people they care about in pain and knowing that you might be hurting and we’re not invited to the help-you party is not a friendly thing to make a friend feel.

So this year, reach deep inside your emotional purse and pull out a heaping helping of “I need you, I want you, I love you”, wrap it up in a pretty bow, serve it with a glass of wine and give it to someone you care about. They’ll be so grateful they won’t even care that you bathed the suede jacket their grandma sent them from the 80’s in your tears.

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