I'm not a huge fan of surface friendships, I value true connections; I'm a quality over quantity type of girl. Sometimes I wonder if I feel too deeply concerning the subject, but friendship is a covenant word to me, it’s not a nonchalant thing. Indeed, some friendships are only meant to last for a season and serve a specific purpose in our lives. I appreciate those friendships and I hold the memory of those relationships dear to my heart. I simply believe that friendship is divine and it is unrealistic to expect that from many people.
Throughout my life I’ve always been perplexed as to why people didn't know how to do friendship (or at least to my standard). Because others didn't always reciprocate the same effort and reliability as I would, I began to blame myself. I believed people didn't desire to get to know me. I was convinced that everything about who I was, including physical appearance, was less than interesting. This resulted in me not pursuing friendships because I assumed people wouldn't like me, instead I waited for others to pursue me. It was much easier to wait for others to pursue me than to risk being rejected. Now I wouldn't say I never tried to pursue friendships, but it wasn't my preference. I preferred to stay comfortable! I would even compare myself to others and their ability to connect with people and beat myself up for not being more "outgoing" or "talkative." The truth is, there was nothing wrong with my personality, I simply did not love myself and I didn't truly appreciate my uniqueness. There came a point in my senior year where I started to realize who I was and I began the process of learning to love myself, but I was still stuck in the habit of avoiding connection. Soon I realized that the issue wasn't me and I was able to look at relationships differently. Here are some lessons I’ve learned:
- It’s impossible to be friends with everyone.
- Popularity does not equal happiness.
- Fear of rejection stems from the unrealistic mindset that everyone should like you and want to get to know you.
- Don't allow others to hinder your joy.
- You have complete control and responsibility for your own happiness in life.
- Be grateful for the relationships that you have. Don't be so focused on the hype of having a lot of friends that you forget the people that have always been there for you.
- Until you learn to love yourself you will not know how to properly love others. you have to be able to see yourself and others through the eyes of God (who is love).
- Don't be overly consumed with yourself. There may be others around who need what God has placed on your life.
- If you wish for more connections in life ask God to draw the right people to you.
These simple lessons have really changed my perspective. I believe that I am intriguing, I am fun, I am genuine, I am loyal and I am a great friend! Of course I am still growing and I still notice insecurities in me, but I honestly don't fear befriending others like I used to and I won't place unrealistic expectations on others. I will even find myself speaking to complete strangers and once in a while striking up conversation because I have become more comfortable with myself and no longer concerned about what others may be thinking of me. Now I am free to be myself at all times, whatever that looks like, if at the moment I'm in a calm mood then I will be that, if I'm hyper and in a silly mood then I will be that. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to be what you FEEL others want to see. Besides you want people to love the real you not who you pretend to be. This approach leads to genuine connections instead of forced interactions.
What are your thoughts on connections? What are some lessons you've learned concerning this subject? I'd love to hear your story! (leave your feedback in the comments below)