When a person hurts, or disappoints me, I tend to keep my thoughts and comments to myself and just walk away from that person temporarily or permanently. My reasoning was, (sometimes still is) it is better to walk away from that person because their action was a prequel to what to expect. So, instead of having continually deal with it, I walk away and never deal with it. I never considered human error, or good intentions or even mistakes. My response to human failures was to walk away. It was easier. It worked for me. In cases when I was not ready to walk away permanently, I would distance myself, sort out the hurt myself, in my own mind and come back. A lot of the time, when I came back, the person was not around. They had also moved on. I always felt that my being hurt was my issue not the other person’s problem. This was the norm for me until I met this friend of mine. After over a decade, we are still friends.
This friend was ‘a lot’ for me at the time we met. I was not in the correct head space for him at the time we met. I am sure if we met now, it would have been a completely different story I am sure.
My friend was sweet, open, a real mama’s boy (this is a compliment). He was accustomed to discussing feelings and was always wanting to discuss everything. For a person who felt that everything should be locked and shoved deep down in a box somewhere and never spoken of, this was tiring for me and I found I was always avoiding him because I did not want to discuss my feelings, my behaviour, habits or anything substantial. I did not want to talk about anything even remotely personal.
I found it weird that as friends he was always talking about his feelings. It was unnerving.
Every time I did or said anything to hurt him, even when I failed to do and say as (he felt) I should, he would point it out and would want to discuss it. (It was IRRITATING!)
I remember getting a Birthday card from him and in the card, behind the lovely message you find in them, I saw a ‘special’ message from him in his weirdly neat hand writing (for a teenager). His message was a long lecture talking about his feelings and the way I had reacted to him the day before. In this lecture, he wrote, “I hope we will remain friends for a long time, AND IF NOT it’s been very nice knowing you”. This was just one of the many lines in his long note about his feelings (IN MY BIRTHDAY CARD) and what I did to upset him that day or the day before, I cannot remember. I still find this funny (and a very small part of me still finds it annoying). This was who he was – he was just that type of person. He would always point out an action on my part, quickly apologize for his part, lay out his errors (whether or not I said anything about it) immediately something happened so that the air would be clear. And just as quickly as he brought it up and talked about it, he would move on!
In some ways, I wished I was that expressive. He would bring up the most difficult topics, all the time. He was a completely open book. You knew exactly what he was feeling, when he was feeling it and why he was feeling it. Looking back, I see now that it is such a refreshing trait. I simply did not appreciate it at the time.
This style of communication was unnerving, uncomfortable and weird (for me).
Today, I cannot imagine my life without this style communication (with close friends).
People these days walk around with masks, so afraid to let people in. We all have one. I do not blame them. People can be horrible and more often than not, they can take advantage of people like my friend. People do not want to be taken advantage of. People do not want to reveal their real self for fear of rejection. I can understand this.
Yet, the privilege of having a very small circle of trust worthy friends who I can pour my wealth of emotions on and trust that my confidence would never be (maliciously) broken, is something I will always treasure. The difference it has made in my life has been lifesaving (I love you my people!)
It is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. To be able to point out hurt, highlight the good and express yourself, freely, without fear.
If my friends have an issue, I am confident that it will be raised and addressed and therefore dealt with.
If only I had lived this way long before now, a lot of my past insecurities would not have existed because I would not have had to question myself or others. I would never have had to wonder about weird actions, or motives because everything was out in the open (say no to paranoia).
My relationships are healthier and I do not have to live in my head so much anymore. It did not happen overnight and I find myself doing what feels most natural to me more times than I would like but I feel I am a much better person now.
This does not mean that you will not have to deal with dishonesty or life’s normal ups and downs. This does not mean that you will not have to walk away from people. What it does mean is, your life is simple. Your yes is your yes and your no is your no. Paranoia and mistrust is taken care of because you know everyone is honest about how they feel. You see people as they are. You begin to trust people and believe the best in people.
For me, it is just an easier, healthier way to live.
Will I be as open as my lovely friend? I don’t think so. Am I honest and open about who I am, where I am holistically and what I feel? Yes I am. The people in my circle are QUALITY!
I encourage you to try it with at least one sensible person – be completely honest about who you are and how you feel, especially in 2017.
There is something to be said for openness and honesty.
For those who do not agree, please tell me why. Will you give openness a shot? How did it go? Did it work for you?
Please share your experiences with me.
Love and Blessings!