what are friends for?

Having coffee with a friend, she was telling me her trails and struggles with her son.

I had to ask questions to understand what was going on. And then I said “You know what you need to do?”

Well. I said it a few times. Then the third time I said it, I interrupted myself. “Like I know how to solve all your problems…”

I don’t want to seem like a know it all. But I am listening, and I have ideas and suggestions. Naturally, my first pass ideas have been tried already by the woman who lives daily with her problems. So, when I say “You should..” with such confidence, it would seem like I am calling her an idiot. Of course she’s tried all the easy stuff already.

But she said “Oh I can totally run your family. I know how to fix all your problems!”

I laughed. She knew I was only trying to help.

That’s what friends are for. And maybe it’s supposed to work that way.
I can go to my friend and say “This is driving me crazy!” and feel all hopeless.
My friend will say to me, “You know what you need to do?”
And I probably already tried that, but then I call explain some more, and she will suggest some more, and in the end she may not have any really useful suggestions.

Because it’s hard.
And I’ve been trying to solve it for a long time.

But what she can do is have a positive attitude, and let me feel like this thing is fixable. We don’t have to figure it out today, but we can talk about it, and keep up the faith.

So maybe it’s not always arrogance to tell each other “You should…” It could be the boost we need.