Are you the go-to gal in your circle of friends or in your family? Do strangers share their heart and soul with you at the bus stop? Do people think you are the one with all the answers? If you have answered yes to these questions you are most definitely a friend indeed, and I wonder if you’re also a friend in need?
As a card carrying member of the Go-To-Gal club I understand that it can be overwhelming. At times I feel what I say may be the catalyst for change in someone’s life, change that may not always be easy. But, I know you will agree that it’s truly an honour to have people share their hearts with you. I value Connection above all else and when I share these moments with friends and family I know I am living my purpose. I have a general list of guidelines I follow to a) Keep my membership in the club and b) Ensure that I don’t burn out and end up drooling at a bus stop crying the blues to a perfect stranger (maybe you?):
|• Listen with your heart. It’s quite possible that Listening is the hardest thing for some of us to do but this skill can be learned and honed. You must rid your mind of idle thoughts and live in the moment. Don’t think about what the next perfect thing to say is. That whole “your eyes are a window to your soul” thing…is true! Look into their eyes.
• Don’t blab. You’ve built trust with this person and if you break the trust you will most likely never get it back.
• You don’t need all the answers. Most people don’t want a “fixer” they just want to be heard.
• Encourage action. I think the reason people come to me is because I am intolerant of staying “stuck”. Life’s too damn short…we must take action to change.
• Laughter…this should be rule #1. I have shared situations with friends that are gravely serious but we still find a way to laugh. Not only does it feel great but can often clear our muddied minds.
• Don’t answer the phone! You cannot be on call 24/7. It’s important to choose times that you simply let the machine take the call. If it’s an emergency they will leave a message or call back.
• Care for yourself first. We all know that if you are in a plane crash with your child you are to first put the oxygen mask on yourself. You must determine what “self-care” means for you. I like to eat chicken wings and watch Survivor with my boys.
• Ask for help. What? Did I just see you cringe? We Go-to-Gals often find it very difficult to lean on someone else. It’s a wonderful moment when someone shares their heart with me but it’s a truly powerful connection when we share our hearts together.
And if you are not a member of the Go-to-Gal club, you should be! I know that’s a bold statement but you may be missing out. Trust me when I tell you that nothing feels as rewarding as Serving others. People often say to me “You poor thing. It must be so hard dealing with everyone’s problems. I could never do that.” I’m not a poor thing, I’m immensely blessed. Thankfully, I’m not dealing with problems I’m listening to people and hopefully by sharing they will find a way to deal with their own problems. And yes, of course you can do it. There is nothing magical about listening with your heart. Give it a try next time you find a friend in need.