Friendship

I've been blessed in my life to have many friends.


There are those that I've known forever a really long time.

There are those that I've met more recently.

There are a few that I feel very close to, even if we're far apart.

And some of my friends I guess are really more like acquaintances.

I have some friends here in blogland, but these days I guess I'd say that most fall into that last category.  That may seem odd because of the things we talk about here, the very personal and sometimes intimate things that we share.  And yet, sometimes it's easier to just comment on a blog post here and there than to actually reach out and get to know one another beyond that point.

Am I the only one who struggles with this?


I get along well with most people I meet and every now and then I'll just click with someone right off the bat.  But, being more of an introvert, I suppose, a lot of my thought process occurs in my head and I don't necessarily even think to share it with anyone, even a close friend.  This, I think, can be problematic, perhaps even a stumbling block for me at times.

One of my best friends is definitely an extrovert and some of the differences between us are so readily apparent it would be hard not to notice.  She tends to process things by getting them out in the open, talking through it.  While I will sometimes do that when writing, I can find it cumbersome to do in a conversation, even unpleasant at times.  It's an uncomfortable skill and one that people who are wired differently often take for granted I imagine.  I'm more likely to mull something over in my head first before I share it.

So, am I truly an introvert?  Um ... I don't know.  I guess so.  *shrug*  But, often people seem to think that means that I'm not a social creature, that I'm not outgoing at all or even that I just don't like people.  None of that is true ... at least for me.  One of the definitions I came across for introvert was "a shy, reticent person."    Shy has never been a word anyone has ever used to describe me, at least not to my knowledge.  As for reticent, the definition I came across was "not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily."  And that, I will admit, can be true, though not always.  I do have a tendency to keep my thoughts and/or feelings to myself, especially around those I don't know well.  And, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.  I imagine all of this goes deeper than just introvert vs extrovert anyway into personality type (Myers-Briggs: INFJ), upbringing, etc.

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So, if you're still reading, my apologies.  I really didn't mean to blather on that much about myself. This was to be a post about friendship.  And, all this to say that while I'm so very thankful for all of my friends (yes, that includes you!) sometimes I do struggle to develop deeper relationships with people.  Of course I do have some of those relationships in my life.  And I think it's wise not to just jump in with both feet.  But there's not much to be gained by not at least testing the waters first with a toe and working your way in deeper from there, is there?  I think not.


So, with that said, I'm going to challenge myself to reach out to some people in my life, both here in blogland and elsewhere, and try to get to know some people, some of you, better.  And if this is something you struggle with too, then I challenge you to a duel (lol) do the same! 

Comments

  1. I think one of the things that helps me understand introversion is not so much about people and the desire to be/share with them but what one needs in order to recharge. Most introverts need alone time to feel rested and re-energized. Then we go back out and love our people.

    I've been working hard at developing friendships the last couple of years. I don't think it gets easier with age, but harder because family and work life pulls us in so many directions. Finding that person you click with can feel elusive. Instead, some of my newer friends don't have so much in common. It's harder work but because of that we end up learning more from each other, if that makes sense.

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    1. I (shockingly) agree with Susie on this one. Especially about being an introvert. Before blogging and entering ttwd I don't think I would have considered myself an introvert. Yet I am. I need the recharging. I am quick to make social plans, then dread going out, BUT love it once I am there, provided I don't have to be on display. Very complicated stuff really. LOL.

      Blogging has done two things for me as far as friendships go, first it taught me to open up and secondly it showed me that if you do open up to friends they generally do the same in return. Oh actually I lied, it taught me 3 things. It is best summed up in this quote I put on face book just this morning actually,

      “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” Anais Nin

      Some friends are meant to just pass through our lives, others to stay a lifetime. Some are meant to stay only in print. These things are neither good nor bad, they are just what we need, when we need them.

      Good luck finding those who you will eventually click with. Most of all good luck with your attempts to be less guarded and open up. It is scary, but so worth it in the long run!
      willie

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    2. Well hello Susie! Yes, I definitely do need some alone time to recharge. That does seem to be a central difference between introverts and extroverts.

      I'm glad that you've been busy cultivating relationships. My very best friends are quite different from myself actually. So, I understand what you mean. ;)

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    3. Hey Willie! Great quote! I totally agree that some friends are in our lives for only a season, while others are life long, etc. I think I'm pretty open in my real life relationships/friendships, but for whatever reason I tend to be more guarded here in the 'land. I'm gonna work on that. ;)

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    4. May I make a suggestion? Change your vocabulary for your own sake. In stead of saying real life friends....try something like face to face friends. It makes a huge difference to your heartset just thinking a tad bit differently toward those you meet online. ;)

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    5. It's funny that you mention that Willie because I hardly ever refer to friends I know offline as "real life friends." Not even sure why I did so here. Very odd. I actually have many online friends (not just in blogland, but in other areas of my life as well). I've met some of them in person and they're now both online and offline friends. But honestly, I like to think of all my friends as just friends, not specifically online or offline or whatever. ;)

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  2. Reach out - you can always step back.

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    1. So true, Leigh! I'm definitely going to start reaching out more. :)

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    2. Leigh, I didn't see an email for you on your blog. Did I miss it? If you would like to exchange emails, please share it with me. If not, that's okay too. Mine is hislilligirl @ gmail.com (without the spaces). ;)

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  3. Hi Lilli, I think you have to do what makes you most comfortable. I love my Blogland friends even though I don't really know them! I have lots of real life friends but since starting this lifestyle I feel distanced from most of them somehow and sadly I am not bothered by it.
    love Jan, xx

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    1. Huh. That's interesting Jan. I don't really feel distanced at all from my real life friends. But, I haven't really tried to get to know very many here in the 'land more than just from blog post/comment interactions. I think I'd like to change that. ;)

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  4. Hi Lilli, I need to try and reach out more too, good for you, though I agree with Jan, you need to do what feels comfortable and right for you. As you said, nothing wrong with dipping your toe in and testing the water. Nothing ventured nothing gained :)

    Hugs
    Roz

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  5. Hi Lilli, I would love to get to know you more :)

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    1. That's so sweet of you, Daisy! I've been so busy since I wrote this post I haven't had a chance to reach out to anyone yet. But, I'm going to be working on that! :)

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    2. Daisy, I didn't see an email on your blog. Would you like to exchange emails? Mine is hislilligirl @ gmail.com (without the spaces). ;)

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    3. Yes Lilli I would love to :)

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  6. Hi Lilli, I love all my friends here in blogland. Don't really have many in real life maybe as Jan said as they live different lifestyles. A few of my real life friends think I'm a social butterfly yet I don't see myself that way. I much prefer to stay home with my Bear anyday.

    I'd like to get to know you more if you want to exchange emails.
    Hugs Lindy

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    1. That's so interesting to me Lindy. Why do you think they see you so differently than you see yourself? My email is hislilligirl @ gmail.com (just take the spaces out of course). :)

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    2. Lindy, I didn't see an email listed on your blog. Would you like to exchange emails? Mine is hislilligirl @ gmail.com (without the spaces). ;)

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  7. Hi Lilly, :) I think that reaching out sounds like a wonderful idea! It is so interesting, but once you do, I think that you will find something quite extraordinary in the friendships made here. We share so much- so much more than we do with most vanilla friends. It is very freeing and special!

    Building friendships take time, here, just as they do with vanilla friends. It is very much worth it. I'd love to get to know you more as well. :) Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

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    1. I'm sure you're right Katie! I've been so busy since I wrote this post that I haven't had a chance to reach out yet, but I'm going to work on that! :) (((hugs)))

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  8. Hi Lilly,
    We could all use more friends for they all help us become the people we are meant to be. Just stopping by to say hello. If you need another friend you know where to find me.

    Best,
    Enzo

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    1. Hi Enzo! I agree, I can always use more friends. And I do indeed know where to find you! Thanks! :)

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