Anyone who knows me semi-well knows that I have had one hell of a year, or two, or life. The past few years have been a struggle for me. I struggle to be social, I struggle to be happy, I struggle just to be, and this has made me not the most pleasant person to be around. All apologies. I am working on this.
Over the last decade – I’ve accumulated fabulous friends, but honestly, I think of almost every one of them as a good acquaintance, and I treat them as such. I am sincerely thankful for them, but I have a problem with building meaningful relationships with people. I’m not sure why that is my default move, professionally I would suggest my upbringing is the cause, but I can’t blame everything on my parents- or can I? – No, I guess I cannot. Reflecting on philosophy, let me share that there are three types of friendships – utility (useful), pleasure (enjoy same activities), and good (mutual admiration). I believe people search me out for a utility friendship because I am always looking to make myself useful. I have attempted to work towards having a good friendship but end up with either a utility or pleasure friendship. This is not a bad thing, but it is just not as fulfilling as a good friendship. In social psychology, I learned that the role of friendship is pivotal to the development of class, status, and power. Which is why I issued myself a challenge. Being from the lower class, I could use a little help increasing my status and power.
I have challenged myself this year to be a more engaged friend and develop those good friendships. I can’t say that I’ve been successful yet, but I believe and hope that I am on the right path.
As part of this challenge, I decided to I join a social club, Junior Woman’s Club of Fort Worth (JWC). JWC is a great group of women in the Fort Worth area that combines a social and service into one group. JWC is made up of countless remarkable people, embodying all types of personalities, experiences, and professions. I really fancy volunteering at our club-wide events, getting to meet women outside of the two groups I joined. I really do love it when I make a new contact. Making a connection with someone is not hard for me, maintaining and building a more solid relationship is what I need to work on.
So back to this challenge, I assigned myself – making friends, keeping friends, being a better friend – altogether that shit is hard. Joining JWC has put me in the situation to make friends, but is it has not made me a better friend. I have still just been expanding my pool of marvelous acquaintances.
If you did not know, friendship is tied to your self-perception. With a poor self-perception, how can one expect others to want to build a rapport? To succeed in my challenge, I need to be working on being a better friend, and to do that, I need to work on myself. I’ve put off working on myself for almost thirty years, I guess now is an excellent time to start. To commence personal growth, I have been trying to take care of myself better- physically and mentally. I have been taking time actually to focus on me instead of others. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my narcissistic moments in the past, but overall, I have had a tendency to become preoccupied with meeting others needs before my own.
My version of self-help – Move more, Think less, eat better.
I started doing yoga, and I am so pleased with my yoga instructor and yogi mates. In general, I have just made sure I am on the move more – hiking, walking, soft jogging (because I cannot run), etc. In addition to yoga and other forms of fitness, I started meditation, two to three times a week. I am not exceptionally good at being alone with my thoughts yet, my small attention span causes me to drift away and lose my clear head space. I have also been creating and reading more.
Furthermore, I have been a little more cautious about what I eat and put into my body. I try to limit my gluten and sugar intake (this is another challenge within itself), I have given up eating meat, and I have been sticking with a routine of probiotics and vitamins. These simple changes and additions to my life have helped me gain some clarity, assisted me in decompressing, and readjusting my attitude | perceptions.
I know that I am still a work in progress, but I think these resolutions will help me to be a less anxious, neurotic, fatigued, and pessimistic friend.
Things that I intend on continuing in the future to be a better friend:
- Listen more
- Communicate more
- Trust more
- Give more
- Find others to share my passions with
- Challenge others to do the same