While the two seem very similar, they are in fact very different. Support can be seen as an undistilled dose of reality. Reality thrown at you from all angles which will allow you to see through the facade. The opposite (being a shoulder to cry on), takes the form of a person prepared to listen.
As an acoustic cover of Drops of Jupiter begins playing over the speaker, I sit on the familiar red couch. Legs sprawled over Americano, I watch the rain drops drip down the pane.
The chilled spring air creeps through the window left ajar.
Over the course of the last couple of days, I have been truly wondering which of the two I am needing. While both definitely do have their perks and benefits, there are setbacks to this form of free therapy.
The hard thing about receiving support from a loved one is that opinions can be jaded. As put bluntly by Samantha Jones, “It is the blind leading the blind, we are as fucked up as you are”. With profanity included, Ms. Jones raises a real point; How are people who are seemingly just as broken able to provide insight into your own personal battles?
When looking for advice, many people just want the straight up truth, but the difficulty of truth is that it often can be laced with yielded blades.
Tell me your problems and I will lend my time. I will listen and provide my insight, but I am not too sure what position my opinion should side. Is the asker of the question looking for nothing more than confirmation for their previously agreed upon decision, or are they looking for the “truth”.
The main differing factor that differentiates a friend from a loved one is an un-filtered dose of reality. A friend acts as an agreeable force that listens to your tale and takes your side; a loved one listens to your story and tells you what you need to hear.
Sometimes support is difficult to handle… It just seems easier to avoid the inevitable and dismiss advice, but this can not be a feasible way to handle any given situation.
While the two may bear similar characteristics, be careful which you decide upon. A shoulder can provide comfort when trapped, yet support can provide a way out.