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Is it Too Much to Ask?

February 14, 2016 by Diane

Man holding woman's hand

I have a friend who is my rock, my anchor. I have another who makes me laugh. A third is sympathetic to my every woe, and another bolsters me when I’m down. I have an upbeat boss and an intuitive coworker, a wise mother, a supportive sister, and a visionary father.

I am grateful for their presence.

When I feel agitated, I know who to seek out: the anchor. When I lose my perspective, I latch onto the one who makes me laugh. When I need advice I call my mother, for insight I find my coworker, when I’m riddled with doubts I talk to my sister. If I want to feel like the world is dandy I look at my boss and his bouncy stride.

These are the roles that I’ve assigned to the people in my life, and if they stray from their roles, I become unsettled.

I don’t want the rock to become needy, or the humorous one to become cynical. I don’t want to reach out to my sympathetic friend and hear, “oh, get over it.” I don’t want the upbeat one to become depressed, the insightful one to act dense, the wise one to turn stupid, or the visionary to stop dreaming. I don’t want the one bolstering me to suddenly want me to bolster them. And I don’t want my dentist to be a hypochondriac.

Is it too much to ask for them to stick to their roles?

Well, yes, it is too much to ask. We all have our many sides, and we’re entitled to own them. There will be a day when my boss comes to work with his feet dragging, or my insightful coworker looks at me with a blank expression. There will be a time when I’m the one being the anchor or the bolster or the fountain of wisdom, or the one saying, “Don’t stop dreaming, kid.” There will come a time when I’m the caretaker for the one who cares for me.

And that’s okay, because it makes me stronger.

It reminds me that I’m all that I seek in others.

It reminds me that I’m more than the one who is anxious.

Woman holding man's hand



  1. Joan says:

    Very nice!!! Yes we all have different roles that change from time to time. It’s good that we can all be there for each other.

  2. Bun Karyudo says:

    That’s a good point, Diane. We are all multi-faceted. Having said that, when I began thinking about it, I realized I do much the same thing. I do have a particular person I go to when I need a bit of support, someone else I tend to talk to when I need cheering up, and so on. I guess your post contains a lesson for me.

  3. Nancy Clark says:

    Well Stated, Diane. You have let your insightful side shine through!

  4. Sarah says:

    Love this. It’s so true we assign roles to our friends and family. And we expect them to be “that” person for us. We know who to turn to when we need certain advice or support. But… They are more than that. ❤️ And so are we.

  5. M.W. Thomas says:

    You can count on me to be useless and selfish Diane. You’re welcome.

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