“I just don’t understand why I do that!” is a common thought we have after we eat that extra doughnut, have a silly fight with our spouse, or yet again drink too much at a party.
The need to be understood stands right next to our need to belong. They go together. We want to understand ourselves and we want to know that others “get” us and are not put off by who they see. We all need compassion about our faults and a sense that others understand and experience us as like themselves–in an okay way.
However, this requires that we hang out around others who tend to be understanding about human nature and who are relatively nonjudgmental in their approach to life. Friends who are quick to judge others usually don’t help us feel good about ourselves. Less judgmental friends, however, can be quite comforting.
Of course, it also helps if we aren’t judgmental toward ourselves, though we do need to be honest about our behaviors when they are destructive. It’s hard when you judge yourself to open yourself up to others.
Choose your friends wisely. We have no choice but to be influenced by those we spend time with. The choice we have is who we spend time with. Friends who understand much about human nature can be rare to find, but they are worth the hunt, and they will be healing in our lives.