Recently, I was with a new friend of mine on a combined forces Costco run (I don’t have a membership and she kindly took me there to shop with hers). She is one of those friends who always seems to have the energy to give and give to the point where sometimes I feel so guilty because I wonder if it’s even possible to properly return the multitude of favours to her that she has bestowed on me.
While we were loading groceries I started getting frazzled because I did not want to accept her offer to help lift groceries (she thinks she has tennis elbow) or borrow her reusable shopping baskets (I didn’t even think to bring any). As I was fussing, she calmly touched me on the arm, and said, “don’t ever worry about accepting help from me, I know my own limits, and I will always let you know if I’m beyond those limits”.
I couldn’t help but be stunned by how wonderfully simple, yet powerful her statement was. It embodied three things that I feel, as a woman, I don’t think I’ve generally been socialized to do. That is: be direct, know my limits, and don’t constantly push myself past those limits for everyone else’s sake.
My friend was so clear with me, and I instantly knew in that instance that I could accept her help and that, if ever the opposite were true, I could trust she would let me know. She has inspired me to clearly communicate my limitations.
What about you? What simple, yet powerful things have you been learning from your friends recently?