We All Can Be Confident Confidantes
A confidante is more than just a friend. We don’t need others to validate ourselves but we do need authentic support systems that bring us comfort and clarity when we go through difficult times. The best way to find these systems is to embody them. Being a good confidante is simply being a good person. Learning to empathize with your friends goes beyond just listening. It’s the commitment to actually feel what they’re feeling so you know exactly what they’re going to. It’s occupying the same space as them so they know they are not alone and they do not have to go through this alone. Encouraging those around you means you do not envy or spite them. You are comfortable enough in your own self and your accomplishments to genuinely be happy for your friends when they are succeeding. You are happy with yourself so you have the bandwidth to lift others up when they are feeling down.
Power Tip 1: Listen and Empathize
When you express your innermost and deepest thoughts to someone, you want to know that you have their attention.
Listen. You might feel a natural urge to fill the silence when you want to help but don’t know what to say. You can’t “fix” someone’s problems, especially not by talking nonstop. It’s better to be present as they work through their feelings. It’s really hard to mess up if you’re just intent on listening.
Sometimes its okay to admit you don’t understand. You can repeat this to them “I cannot begin to imagine what you’re going through right now, but I am here for you whenever you are having a hard time.” This kind of statement acknowledges the reality—that you don’t understand—while reinforcing your willingness to be there. It’s a piece of security that can really help them feel safe.”
Power Tip 2: Encourage
Encourage them to be their best.
In a cold and harsh world, it’s refreshing to have someone in your life who doesn’t judge you negatively or put you down.
You need a friend who’s willing to offer a word of encouragement. Someone who will reassure you that everything is going to be okay. And someone you believe when they say it.
Sure, a good friend can also play devil’s advocate every once in a while so they can protect you from your blind spots and show you the other side to your story, but ultimately, the conversation should always be geared towards how things can or will be better in the future.
It’s so much easier to confide in someone who’s actively rooting for you. A friend who cheers you on demonstrates their support for you, and you will naturally come to trust them and like them even more.
Power Tip 3: Empower
Be a loyal friend. Help them when you can and show them that they are as capable, if not more, than you. Being a confidante is understanding you are a part of a team. You work towards your goals and support one another along the way. Empowering someone isn’t trying to solve all their problems. Empowering someone is showing them they can do it themselves, they just need one or two trustworthy friends along the way.
Real Talk: The responsibility of being a confidante is something we should all strive for. It is a calling that makes us powerful, trustworthy and emotionally intelligent people. It helps us support our loved ones and create safe spaces in our friendships.
A true friend will stick around and keep your confidence no matter what. And they will always have your best interests at heart no matter what you disclose to them.
Be that friend.
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