Time for some #realtalk.
I’m a terrible friend. I’ve been a terrible friend for a good while now. I say this from the perspective of someone who is willing and ready to change that fact into a false statement in 2019. I don’t usually make resolutions, but today I realized that it’s going to maybe encourage me to start doing things differently.
Ever since I was little, I’ve just wanted to be someone that people paid attention to. I wanted to be that guy that people wanted around and wanted to include in things. As I got older, I lesson after lesson in my childhood on how this wasn’t going to be the case. I devised this idea that I needed to be someone that people needed to be included the way that I wanted to be. I figured that I couldn’t be denied if I was worth something to someone. The only thing that I learned from all of that was that I was only capable of setting myself up situations that left me feeling like I was being rejected and that I was not having the impact that I thought I was for people.
This eventually turned into me getting burnt out from trying to occupy a special place in people’s lives. I decided that I was always the one trying too hard. I had a reputation for being the one that was always good at staying in touch with people or would be able to gather folk together but then would just disappear into the background when everyone got together. I grew upset with people in general and I decided that I wouldn’t worry about people any further. I wouldn’t deal with trying to make anyone happy or trying to get in people’s good graces. This was rather effective! I learned the important lesson that (read: clung to the idea of) being your own person only requires you. I was all that I needed to enjoy life and I would strike out on my own, f@$k what other people may or may not have to add to this.
I decided that I would never chase a person again. This was something that stuck hard in me. I still have issues with this to this day. I often slip into this place of wanting to hang out with someone and hounding them to make something happen. What I always go back to, after a while, is the idea that people make time for what’s important to them. Once I get denied or ignored for a bit, I decide that it’s just better for my health to not worry about people in most cases. Especially once someone has become free, or isn’t as busy. As of a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine, Emily reached out to me and apologized for taking so long to not reply to my messages asking to hang out. My response to her was one of being unbothered and aloof. Oh, you’re finally willing to pay attention to me? Interesting… Your behavior before let me know that I wasn’t important to you, so now I’m no longer pressed to be in your presence. It’s just one of the ways that I’ve developed for coping with not getting what I want.
I had a brief convo with another friend earlier this evening, which was supposed to be a friendly hello. I worked with this woman named Ozge and I used to try to have lunch with her once we stopped working at the same place. Today, I sent her a message on Facebook, once I realized that I hadn’t talked to her since January in 2017. She started off friendly, but once she brought up the possibility of getting that “long overdue” lunch together, I was reminded of being that dude who chased people to no avail. I figured that if I couldn’t have lunch with you then and gave up for 2 years, it wasn’t worth my time to get all twitterpated about the opportunity. I told her that I didn’t want to try to see her and just wanted to say hi (which wasn’t a lie but reminded me of how I’m constantly just writing people off). That was the end of that, as she became less interested in a conversation (and who would blame her).
The only problem with this mentality is that it’s led me to be very solitary in life. I know that normally your friend groups dwindle in your 30s, due to people having kids and being married and living their lives like normal people do. The only problem is that my behavior is promoting these situations in my life. PEople might invite me to things and instead of extending myself and doing something that might be a good friendly ting, I decide that I’m just not interested, or I’ll get into the mindset that I don’t have any reason to do anything outside of myself. Why not just enjoy my own company? I don’t have to deal with people or their shenanigans.
That’s not the way that people build a community around themselves. This is how someone encourages hermit-like tendencies.
I don’t want to be a hermit. Although I kinda do and that back and forth is interesting to me. What I really want is to just normally fit into a group and have fun without over-thinking things. My new goal is to learn how to be social again, learn and practice being friendly for the sake of being a good person/friend again. It’s a little daunting, but I think it’s the right move. I gotta stop cutting people out if I want to be accepted. My pride will be a little hurt, but it’s ultimately a good move for me.
So, I’m going to have to try to re-integrate myself and see what comes of it. Again, this will be rather uncomfortable, but everyone says that the best way to heal yourself is to deal with any discomfort head-on.