One thing that I have noticed about myself is that I absolutely suck at friendships. I love building relationships that turn into lifelong friendships, but once I gain these friendships, I fail to put much effort into them. Perhaps it is because I’m an introvert. I’ve pretty much been this way my whole life. Whenever I would come across new friends, our friendship would be amazing…AT FIRST…but then it would die down. WHY? Because I failed to uphold my end of the bargain.
Although I have a ton of brothers and sisters, I am the only one from my mom and dad…meaning that I do not share the same mom and dad with any of my siblings. I am my mom’s oldest child and my dad’s youngest. With that being said, I was pretty much raised as an only child for a good portion of my life. Being an only child caused me to internalize a lot of my feelings and just separate myself from the outside world. I loved being alone and I had a strong passion for reading. With reading, it allowed me to step into someone else’s world where I didn’t really need friends because I was able to develop a “fantasy” world in my head.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. I had a ton of friends then, some of which I am still close with today. Because I am such an introvert, I don’t feel the need to be around or talk to my friends 24/7. I think this is where the problem lies…I don’t feel like I need daily assurance from my friends in order to justify our bond. I can go days, weeks, or even months without talking to my friends, but that does not mean that I love them any less.
Before realizing that I was an introvert, I always felt the need to overextend myself to others in order to make them feel better. I would always go out of my way or do things that I did not want to do…because I didn’t want my friends to be upset with me. I remember the feeling of guilt that I would get if I knew that I upset one of my friends. I would always try to overcompensate and for what reason? I have no idea. I think I was more of a people pleaser and I tried to make sure everyone else was happy, but I was losing myself in the meantime. It’s probably because I loved way too hard and I’m super sensitive (totally my fault as to why I was a people pleaser in the first place).
It wasn’t until I started going to church that I realized that I was indeed an anxious person. I suffered from anxiety for so long and I never knew that I had an issue. I would get so anxious and stressed over the smallest stuff. 2 Timothy 1:7 states that, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control”. I am an introvert and there is nothing wrong with that. I can simply decline invitations without feeling guilt. I can say “no” without feeling like I am going to hurt someone’s feelings. It’s because I know who I am in Christ as to why I can walk with my head high without feeling anxiety, guilt, shame, or frustration towards others.
I don’t check on my friends as often as I should and it is definitely something that I have been trying to get better at. I understand that everyone is pretty much overwhelmed with life right now (kids, marriage, work, etc.), but a simple “hey, I was just thinking about you” text could go a long way. I have one friend in particular that I plan on sending a hand written letter. I think she will appreciate just as much as I will appreciate writing it.
I have a few friends who send me cards from time to time just letting me know that they are thinking of me. We may not talk every day, but receiving a card in the mail really warms my heart. It lets me know that I am still loved by my friends…even if we don’t talk on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
To all of my friends: just know that I love you all and I think about you often. I don’t always fix my fingers to text a “hello” or pick up my phone to call, but just know that you’re still my girlaaas and I love you for life!
Back to Raising. XOXO.