Do you find yourself ever wrestling with feelings of jealousy? Especially when someone you love or care about starts making new friends, and you worry that you’re losing your special place in their heart? Well there’s one friendship you can always turn to, to reassure yourself. And that’s with your dog.
It’s not only that your dog is the friend who will stick with you. It’s that the way you love your dog can open your eyes to the ways that those close to you love you, too. And maybe if you gave yourself as much credit, and as much love, as you give your pup, then you’d find your relationships and your self-worth newly refreshed.
That’s the wonderful point made by Dr. Christine Brown, in this insightful column for Australia’s news.com.au.
As Dr. Brown puts it:
Imagine that someone approaches you one day, out of the blue, and offers you a swap. They explain that you can have any other dog in exchange for your beloved pet. What would you say? I’m assuming that most of you would say, “Absolutely not.”
Even if your dog is a no-good sandwich thief or the certified Worst Dog in the World, we all know that you would never trade away your pup. Your relationship with your dog is unique, and their special blend of quirks and flaws and fuzz and farts live inside your heart, period.
So why do we do think our loved ones would trade us away? We need to look at ourselves and feel the same love and trust that we have for our pets. Know that you are just as irreplaceable to your loved ones as your dog is to you. As Dr. Brown says,
When there is a connection or attachment between beings, it is not easy for people to let those connections go. Your friend may laugh with the new girl, but they can never replace the history that the two of you have built up.
Psychologically speaking, our brains are wired to fear loss even more than we are excited for gains. Fearing the end of a friendship or the loss of an emotional bond is one of the hardest feelings a person can go through. These fears are natural, and we all have to manage them on our own.
But when you’re feeling down, just look into the big eyes of that sweet little rascal whose poop you clean up every day. You know that for all the pups and downs, you’ve always got a bond. So put your trust in your friends and give yourself that same benefit of the doubt.