I have some friends, they don’t know who I am. November 17, 2010
Have you ever realized that something you’ve always believed about yourself may not actually be true?
I think maybe I’m not very nice. I KNOW. I can feel your shock from here in my weirdly uncomfortable IKEA chair. But seriously. I think it’s true.
I mean, I’m friendly. I’m social. And I’m super nice and thoughtful in the context of my closest circle and the youth group. But on the whole? Not so much. I’m cynical and defensive and petty. I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt. I expect them to disappoint me, to hurt me, to put me down. It keeps me from getting hurt if I see it coming. But I don’t think it’s working for me anymore.
Apparently when people are caring and open and interested in your life, they expect the same in return. And when you continue to be guarded and judge-y and closed off, it hurts their feelings. Most people just let those things go and stop being so interested in you. That’s what I would do.
But sometimes someone speaks up. And it hurts. It’s hard. It is most definitely NOT FUN. Your defenses go up, their defenses go up, voices are raised and tears are cried. You leave, not feeling better, but feeling defeated. You are angry and hostile and LOUD. (So loud.) You write them off. You write everybody off.
And then you think about it. You concede that maybe they had a couple of good points. (YOU DID TOO, LEST ANYONE FORGET.) You spend some time thinking about that second circle of relationships, the one full of people you don’t know as well and aren’t as comfortable with, but who are active in your life and aren’t going anywhere. You realize you maybe aren’t as reciprocal in some of those relationships as you probably should be. You could maybe cut some people some slack.
AND IT SUCKS.
But it looks like part of being an adult is learning how to navigate these situations. If you see a deficiency in the way you operate (or have one pointed out whether you like it or not), you have to do something about it, right? You can’t just let it be how you are. (Can you? Could I get away with that?) So I am trying. I don’t want to. But I am trying.
IT IS SO ANNOYING.