Individuality and friendship

We can respect others’ differences, and accept them, even love them unconditionally, without thinking we have to make everyone a bosom buddy. I believe we’re here to learn, and each is a work in progress, so I tend not to expect too much perfection of others. But I’m choosy about my close relationships. I have to feel that I can be absolutely myself and not be judged or have others try to mould and shape me to their ideals — mainly because I tend to be impressionable and want to please everyone, so I find myself in pretzel shapes trying to do so instead of taking care of my true needs. Limiting my close ties helps me avoid that.

2 comments on “Individuality and friendship

  1. Helen McGill says:

    Pretzel shape friendships or relationships:
    Barbara, Ohhh, pretzel shape makes me think of yoga 😉 I think I may know partially where you are coming from or at least this makes me think a bit about it, thank you for that! If I feel like I have to act a certain way, or do or say certain things to be friends or get on with someone, well then they are not accepting me for who I really am. And I am not being truthful to myself. We are all individuals. I really noticed this last month with one of my yoga teacher trainees (not really a friend but a student) who became upset when I shared something to the group about myself that apparently she did not want to hear from me. Yes, this was about me, however it brought up issues about her, her past that she then shared. Later, upset that SHE had shared, she blew up at me. I found that quite complex. Anyway, relationships are an interesting subject, when do we avoid getting close and how and when do we test the waters and put it all out there? Is it a comfort zone or a danger zone? As I age I feel less of this feeling of acceptance of wanting everyone to like me maybe because I finally realize, well that just isn’t going to happen! Hope I make a little sense… helen

  2. Barbara says:

    Yes, Helen, I think you got it. (I thought of yoga too.) But if I do yoga, I do it on purpose. I tend to not even see when I’m letting others influence how I behave. I’m way too impressionable in this regard. I want to be able to interact with more awareness. Maybe that’s my lesson for this life.

    “Later, upset that SHE had shared, she blew up at me.”

    I think a lot of times when we blow up at others, it’s an unrecognized anger at ourselves — or maybe just a reaction to unavoidable pain, like grief. Some things in life just hurt, it’s unavoidable, but in this world we seem to learn that we have to have someone to blame for our pain, even though it’s not true.

    Maybe she needed you there right then to blow up at, so you served her that way as much as you did in providing the safe space for her to share. Not an easy position for you, though.