Finding friendship through personal growth

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 had 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 an 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 that 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 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. I have in general 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 headspace.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


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