How to find friends to help you be a better youDave Smith
It is important to have friends who are a safe haven when life becomes stormy. But truly understanding friendships offer more than just security and comfort: they encourage you to grow and become the person you want to become, or at least explore what you could be. They are what psychology calls a “safe base” for you.
People who are safe bases do not need you to be what they want you to be. Instead, they express affection and support for the “true” you. They encourage you to explore and pursue what matters to you. In my book, Insecure in Love, I offer exercises that can help you discover who can really be a safe haven and a safe base for you. I have combined some of these exercises into a single exercise, which I am offering here. To complete it, all you need is a sheet of paper, a pen and your willingness to explore your relationships. Then follow these instructions:
Identify and write the names of people who are a safe haven for you. These are people you can turn to when you’re really upset and fighting. They are likely to have the following traits:
- Listen well, so you feel understood.
- Express a desire to be there for you when you fight
- Respond to your anguish with care, tranquility and support.
- Communicate effectively your support and care.
- Just being in your presence feels comforting
Then, circle each person’s name on that list that fits the following features of a “secure base”:
- Show interest in what is important to you.
- He wants you to be the best version of yourself
- Encourages you to explore your interests.
- It is consistent in your support and encouragement.
- It is supportive even when it differs in opinion or interests.
Place a star next to the names of those with whom you currently communicate when you need encouragement to explore your interests and values: these people function as safe bases in your life. The other names enclosed in a circle represent possible secure bases.
Once you identify real or potential secure bases in your life, you can begin to strengthen those relationships. You can open up to support people and tell them about the interests you have or would like to explore. Then, you can try to talk to them while pursuing those interests, giving them the opportunity to support you emotionally, share your emotion and help you along the way. Although you could certainly commit to your values and interests without your support, people who are secure bases can strengthen your inner strength and offer you a sense of connection that increases the sense of meaning and satisfaction.
Topics: Self-improvement, Friendship, friends, friendship, relationships, support