Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out,
but to see who cares enough to break them down.
Jim Rohn’s quote : “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” prompt to my mind periodically. I started to become more conscious nowadays by examining people surround me – whether the environment is toxic or contribute to my growth, success and happiness positively or not.
Circle of people
I believe in order to understand a person, we don’t see and trust what this individual equipped, in fact, people can act, especially those skilled performers, they understand what you want to listen / see so manage to give the perfect image you expect. However, it’s always true to view his / her friends, this may give us more insights about personalities, values and moral standards of that person more honestly. Likes attract alike, verbally abusive folks are not able to have friends who cherish peace; vice versa, humble person will have difficulties to hang around with arrogant people.
Though I have this basic knowledge about friendship, I still not doing very well in making friends. Initially, it’s because of my low self-worth / self-esteem issues, which make me have doubts that nice / smart / successful people would like to keep me around. And my long abusive histories further make me have problems to trust people easily. I need longer time to build the trust and open myself up to strengthen relationships. Not too many people have such patience as they will think I am not interested or don’t want to contribute anything in mutual friendship.
Unlike the past, I started to value the importance of friendship and have a better concept of my choice of friends :
Better than me
No matter it’s emotionally or mentally, my friends should have better qualities than me. This give me energy and motivation to learn, try and upgrade myself continuously. In the past, I don’t feel I’m deserved to have good people be my friends, afraid that they will judge or belittle me. Thus I always hang around with people who’s lower than me, e.g. intelligence, perspectives, physical attributes etc. I felt more safe and comfortable in this way.
But the truth is : I stuck from time to time due to lack of valuable thoughts / ideas I can lean on during my struggles. I spend longer time or waste lots of unnecessary energy to get things done. Stay in comfort zone definitely safer but also downgrade my motivation to do better. Besides, it’s difficult to share thoughts / ideas positively when listener don’t know damn things, or own same level of knowledge of me for certain topic, it’s tough to gain any positive / valuable feedback and it’s just a one-way, dead-end conversation.
Besides, in many cases, these people can feel jealous, afraid seeing me move forward to leave them behind, they will offer bad ideas, discourage me so can drag me back to our usual level.
Hang around with Happy crowd
This might be a bit difficult for me to manage at this stage, but at least this is my goal. it seems I’m attracted to negative people. They blamed, complain and judge this and that continuously. I feel like an outsider whenever I hang around with happy people. Their lives seem perfect to my standard, happy childhood, happy family, nice job and a lovely partner. I don’t own all these so how and what can I share altogether. Hang around with miserable people (though I don’t enjoy actually) gives me some sort of connections.
Not saying it’s bad to have friends who are struggling at life issues, but it’s only good for those who extremely optimistic or highly self-motivated. Since I haven’t reached that level yet, to stay around with negative people only drag me further down to the drain. One can only help others when he/she has life jacket when drowning, otherwise both of them will die together.
Don’t know if it’s born-nature or what, I tend to accept people who they are, not viewing others as an extension of myself. Of course there are people’s points / way of living I don’t agree, but most of the time I don’t force my perspectives to others. It might because I travel and see the world from time to time, this opens my mind to accept there are thousands ways of doing the same thing.
Unfortunately, many of people I came across over years are not appreciated difference in others by criticizing, just because I’m different from their perspectives. That’s why I feel lonely even surround with friends – deep down I understand they will never understand or accept me if I declare myself 100% honest. I need to shut up, pretend to agree and understand to maintain friendship, which make me no longer enjoy meeting friends.
Never stop learning
I’m curious to the world and always look for the newest, better knowledge, not exactly always for career path or self-development, it’s interests me even only for entertainment. But I found many adults are very boring, work, work and work, then spent a lot of money to buy luxury products to compensate their sacrifices. And because these people dive into their jobs without exploring the world surrounding, this narrowed individual’s mind and attractiveness. Lack of topics to chat.
Experiences taught me people who love to educate themselves seldom drag you down, and more capable to lead others to the highest road. They are less likely to envy, discourage or bully you for your success or happiness. Instead, they will give better advice, encourage others’ dreams or guide them on the way. They are busy, self-motivated to upgrade themselves every day, month and year, so don’t threatened by other people’s success as long as they keep moving upwards.
I don’t mean to judge people, but since I feel stuck in my life, I got to re-valuate my ways of thinking and living. The whole point of making friends are sharing supports, love, care and wisdom together. If someone walk away when you go through tough times or when you have positive change in life, what’s the point to keep this friendship?
To have a positive change in life, not only lot of works to do internal but environment is also extremely important to individual success and happiness. Obviously I’m not satisfied with my life so I got to do something, healthy boundaries are necessary.
Photo credit : Foter