Q Hallo Auntie Pearl, I hope you are well.
Thank you so much for all the advice deur al die jare, it really helps us a lot… not only with our troubles, but also to have a lag sometimes.
Anyways, I want some advice, please.
I am part of a group of friends and we are all pretty close.
We used to do a lot together and have a real jol all the time.
Even though we don’t all live in Bontas anymore, we still get together for events like weddings and birthdays and sulke goed.
We are also getting older so our children also come along now.
We are also there for each other when times are not so kwaai… you know, when someone is sick or there’s a death.
Then we call or send flowers en so.
The problem is that I sometimes feel overlooked.
I am part of the group and do all the things above, but when I have a hard time or am sick, I don’t really hear from them.
Maar as een van hulle nou struggle then there’s a flood of messages and all that.
Nou weet ek nie. Moet ek hulle wys maak?
I’m not that big on sharing my feelings, so should I just fade away from the group (even though I like them)?
Or am I just bad at friendship?
A Hi Stokkie, let Auntie sommer start off by tuning you straight that you are not “bad at friendship”.
Kyk, the thing to remember is that there is more than one way to be a friend.
Different people need different things at different times.
From what Auntie hears from you, you are a kwaai friend to the group!
But like I said, you mos don’t all have to be the same in the group.
So, the first thing that catches Auntie’s eye is that you say you are not big at sharing your feelings. Daai is dalk ‘n clue oor hulle behavior.
The thing is, bokkie, that people who do share their feelings more openly with others tend to get more of it back.
So if someone is open about having a hard time, or that they are sad, or are sharing their good news, others tend to do the same for them.
If you have been keeping your gevoelens bottled up all these years, how will your friends know when you need their support?
You have to let them know, and Auntie is sure that they will swoop into the rescue.
If you are usually the one to offer help, but rarely signal that you need help, people will assume you are fine.
There’s one more thing that Auntie thinks could be causing this situation, and it’s a general problem we are facing more and more in today’s world.
There’s a term called “empathy to action gap”. This is that nobody does something specifically for you, because you are airing your problems or struggles in a general place, like on a group chat or Facebook.
So everyone might see it, but they just think someone else will do something.
Maybe you should find someone in the group you are closest to, and first, tell them about the news.
Because it’s direct contact, they might be compelled to “rally the troops” and get the Bontas group to kick into action for you!