Empathy and Resolution, Not Indulgence
Any long term friends I have have one thing in common. They call me on my shit. If I’m being an idiot in any way they let me know and I appreciate it. I want to be better always. If I’m being rude, condescending, letting my ego get out of check, argumentative, even if there’s something in my teeth I want to know.
Recently I’ve gotten into a great show on Netflix called Please Like Me. The humour is ecstatic and the characters are great. The premise of the show is around the main character, Josh, and his two close friends Claire and Tom. I won’t get too deep into the description, but I wanted to describe a scene that really resonated with me. Claire and Josh are jogging together while having a conversation and Clarie starts complaining to Josh about how sad she is in her life which is a result from her poor choices to which Josh challenges her and responds with dry humour. Upset, Claire cries “Would you just shut up and just indulge me here? Just indulge me for like 5 minutes” and Josh replies “no… no, we don’t indulge each other. No indulging. No.” Claire a bit surprised asks “You’re not gonna indulge me?” and Josh responds “Nah” and Claire gives up and bitterly says “Ok fine, run is over then” and begins to walk away. Josh sticks to is decision and says “ok” but right away she stops “ok guess what. I’m pregnant” which turns out to be real reason she was upset. Claire asks for his help and support as she has to go through the abortion process and he said “Sure, of course, whatever you need.” and that’s what he did.
This awkward and loving interaction demonstrated an honest, raw, tough love form of friendship and respect. The whining and complaining around things that we can simply decide to and fix on our own doesn’t need indulgence. It needs empathy, support and resolution.