I talk to people: it’s my job. In my travels, I’ve come across many interesting perspectives when I tell people that I’m a psychotherapist.
One question that stands out came from a young woman who asked “What’s the difference between what you do and, say, me talking with my best friend?”
Good question. On the surface it would seem that there wouldn’t be much difference. However, the truth often bears differently.
Let’s face it: if you have a “best friend”, then chances are you give them that stature because of a good chemistry between the two of you. You feel you can talk with them and occasionally divulge personal matters you wouldn’t normally share with anyone else. This is a good thing, particularly if – outside of the “best friend” qualification – the friendship itself is mutual and respectful. The thing is, what you can’t count on (consistently) is whether or not your friend always has your interests in mind, or whether (no fault of theirs) they have their own business to deal with. And thus, what may appear to be a confidante may actually be someone who’s only half-listening because they have their own thoughts (about their own life) at play.