If there’s one thing people can learn from Bojack Horseman, it’s the significance of healing. Bojack Horseman, the Netflix Original series, created the most human characters out of animals. In this universe, humans and animal-human hybrids coexist. One of these hybrids is Bojack, a half-man half-horse, struggling with substance abuse.
He’s supposed to be the most terrible person anyone can ever meet. He barely cares about other people. He makes the most terrible mistakes, and he faces these consequences throughout the show. That’s until he decided to go to rehab.
In rehab, he learns to confront his trauma. In the process, he fixes his relationships. Some have been beyond saving while others stayed.
Relationships do not exist in a vacuum. They are affected by several factors that carry on in every aspect of a person’s life.
People who are close to you extend their help when you need them. They’re the shoulder to cry on. They’re your “ride or die” and “through ups and downs”, but they’re still human.
And so are you.
People can only process enough. At times, problems need special attention from professionals. When you’re going through tough times that take a toll on mental health, it helps to seek a therapist than calling a friend.
Another coping mechanism is substance abuse. Sure, it starts with occasional beers, but it can be a slippery slope. Without control, people tend to take in too much, and this impairs their daily functions. People can be too hungover to work or wake up for an appointment. They might also neglect their responsibilities in the family or in their relationships.
In these times, it might be difficult to admit to oneself that maybe it has become out of control. Getting to this realization is a journey, and admitting oneself to a drug rehabilitation clinic might be a tough decision. This is why it’s important to think about the help it can provide for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Moreover, it helps the people around you, especially if you lose yourself when you’re not sober.
Listening and deflecting are two different things. Sometimes, when people listen to the sentiments of another person, they want to evade accountability. As a result, they invalidate what the other person is saying. Worse, they pin the bad thing that happened to the other person.
For example, a partner expresses that the other person is not giving them enough attention and effort. Then, the other person says, “Maybe you’re feeling this way because you expect too much”. They tell the person how and what to feel instead of solving the problem.
Listening is about empathy. As a listener, you need to pay attention to what the other person is saying and not to what you think of the situation. Let the other person finish and ask questions that will help them with their feelings. In order to know how to act, being aware of the intention helps. Sometimes, they just need you to listen and that’s it.
In a relationship, knowing that you went wrong and feeling guilty is part of the process. However, what truly matters is what a person does about this realization.
Accountability needs action. It’s more than just saying “I’m sorry. My bad.” Then, everything else is abandoned. The next time there’s an opportunity, the same thing happens again. Accountability should come with the intention to be better. Whether it’s by making sure it doesn’t happen again or completely altering one’s behavior, seeing this change matters to the other person.
It matters because it means they will not have to go through the same kind of hurt or injury. It means that the other person is actually listening and that their feelings matter to the other person.
As they say, changed behavior is the best apology. Changed behavior shows the importance and the gravity of the other person’s sentiments. Most especially, making the other person suffer the same thing over and over again is just abuse.
The Bojack Horseman quote has a continuation. One that Todd, the speaker, emphasizes: “You need to be better.” Indeed, relationships require constant improvement in a person. A relationship cannot just sit there and be pretty. A relationship progresses, and it does so because people do not remain stagnant. People change. With this, their relationships do, too. Nobody can perfect the art of maintaining relationships, but everyone can try.