Lessons in friendship

Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons a friend has taught me is to not take life so seriously and to laugh more at the ebb and flow of life.

Life is totally different when you’re willing to be less rigid and laugh at your experiences. When you’re hard on yourself for simply being a human that goes through a variety of experiences, life becomes hard.

But when you laugh and remind yourself that it’s all just a collection of experiences then life somehow softens towards you.

What you say vs How you feel

We often say things that don’t align with how we feel.

Sometimes it’s because we don’t feel in control or we’re scared to be assertive.

Other times we’re not even aware that we don’t really feel what we are saying but the proof is in what we do.

It’s like if someone says they want to make new friends but all they do is go to work and then spend time at home watching Netflix, then still complain that they have no people to hang out with even though they make no conscious effort to even be around new people.

We’ve all fallen into wishing and waiting at some point in our lives. And when you stop and think you’ll often find that you’re either not ready for what you think you want or you don’t truly want it.

Sometimes both apply.

Considered

The expectation to be considered isn’t one that I’d want from many, but when someone tries to convince you that they do consider you, if their actions don’t align then it’s justifiable to let them know how you feel.

You don’t have to ‘go off!’ at the person and make things dramatic. However, it is important to communicate that based on their actions regarding x, y or z, it’s clear that they did not mean the things they said.

It’s sometimes confronting to be truthful and honest (especially when it comes to the way you feel) because it’s you standing in your power saying ‘I’m not willing to accept less and I don’t deserve to settle’.

This isn’t a post about cars

Imagine that you want to buy a pink car so you go to the dealership and they show you this amazing range of cars including pink ones which you express your interest in and now you’re super excited.

But when they later present a car to you, it’s not pink.

You feel a little disappointed but then wonder if maybe you were expecting too much afterall ‘do you really need a car that’s pink?’, blue is okay too.

You decide to accept the blue car because you really wanted a car and it’s what the dealership offered you.

But when you’re driving around, something feels off because you know that this car isn’t what you wanted, you settled.

We settle for all kinds of reasons:

  • We allow people convince us that our wants/expectations are too much
  • We don’t want to offend people
  • We don’t believe that we deserve the things we want

This isn’t a post about cars (of which I know next to nothing about), it’s a post about settling and for a lot of us if we do it (even in small ways) much more than we realise.

Molly my-way

I once new someone who’s infamous line was ‘But why?’.

It made for a difficult relationship when you were questioned every time you said know. It would go something like can you (insert favour here)? I’d reply no, then be hit with but why, I’d say I don’t want to and be hit with but why again.

It was incredibly frustrating and even years later I’m irked greatly and become incredibly sharp when people don’t take no for an answer.

What really got me was that I was terrified of ever rocking  the boat so saying no was a big deal. When my no wasn’t accepted it felt like it wasn’t ‘safe’ for me to be myself because when I tried it was being rejected.

So I suppose I’m still moved by those past experiences. But what I’m learning that the lesson is to be okay with saying no without any attachment to how the recipient responds because you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.

In search of purpose

I’ve never been a career person. But I’ve always thought I had a purpose, some thing I was meant to do. I have no idea what that was meant to be.

I don’t have any particular talents outside of daydreaming, keeping a journal and being an ideas person although they are things I’ve been doing for over 10 years so perhaps they are merely practices rather than talents.

But I was work bound a few days contemplating my purpose in life knowing that it couldn’t have been the building I was heading to for the day.

I started thinking about how there’s little chance of me achieving much if I stay in this very limiting box that I often put myself in as a result of being anxious.

I’m much more out of the box than I used to be but what I’m learning is that your purpose, your joy whatever that thing is for you in life will only be found when you’re being your true self.

Moving past the victim mentality

When things aren’t going your way in life its easy to feel like things are out of control. Afterall if you had your way things would be going swimmingly, right. We often get caught up in thinking that life hates us, that we’ve been hard done by or that it’s only us that things are going through challenging things.

Sometimes we end up playing this victim role declaring how everyone treated you poorly, when perhaps you didn’t set boundaries or that nothing is going right, when you didn’t stop and access if the way you were doing things was the best action to take.

I’ve played the victim role in the past but these days I’ve shifted my perspective because I know that I play a big part in how my life plays out whether things are good or not.

Its much easier when you take responsibility because if I ‘messed things up’ then I can also fix things. But if it was someone else that caused all the bad stuff in my life then I’d probably grow to resent them and expect them to fix things.

I’ve seen the victim mentality in others and I do my best not to judge because I haven’t been through what they’ve been through and I once had that same mindset. But what I always try to do is remind people that they can change things themselves.

Once you become aware of something that’s the beginning of coming to realise that you don’t just have to allow things to happen in your life that you aren’t okay with.

Maybe that means finding a job that doesn’t drain you, spending time with people that treat you well, spending time with yourself, seeing a councillor/therapist or letting people know how they’ve made you feel.

Most importantly for me was reminding myself that I can’t control anything other than how I respond to things. If I want better in life, then I have to do better. It’s silly to be discontent with your life and think that it’s everything around you that needs to change.

It’s okay to admit that if you change certain things in your life you’ll be happier.

When you start with yourself you’ll notice that everything around you will start to change too.