Really just wish I had a few really close friends I could be 100% myself with

Ive spent a lot of time at home lately. I worked really hard to build myself a social life, and worked hard to develop friendships and the skills to make friends. Ive never been a social butterfly but fucking damnit did I improve. I was spending 4-6 nights a week hanging out with friends at times. I was doing so much better. I’m 27 and finally, FINALLY I had a good group of friends.

But even among them I felt out of place at times. I felt like I had to guard what I said, not just becuase I thought they might judge me but because I might judge myself. I would reveal that I’m not the person I want to be, or want to be seen as.

I’m just tired, I just want to let the guard down and talk to some people and truely get to know them. With lockdown going on its been quite a while and I’m more isolated than ever.

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It sounds like you’ve put a lot of time and effort into expanding your comfort zone externally, and I applaud you for that. It’s hard to come out of the shell that protects us from others. I’m a naturally introverted person myself, but you probably wouldn’t think so if you met me on the street. It took years of work and social risk-taking to get to the point where someone might mistake me for an extrovert.

Even then though, I had a lot more work to do before I felt like I could be truly honest about myself with others. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be the person I thought other people wanted me to be… It left me feeling exhausted when I’d spend time with other people. I’d have fun, sure, but I felt like I was performing… Acting. I would be so tired by the time I got home.

I still do get tired when I’m around other people… To a degree… But I do feel like I can be honest and vulnerable with people now… And I think I may have good news for you: I think you might be closer to being able to do it than you think…

Wow! That is a brilliant insight right there. You’ve just hit on something very important, Waka! This was my “key.” Learning to be as kind and patient and loving towards myself as I was toward my friends opened up a whole new world for me. Here’s the thing: not everyone is going to love you or even like you, and that is okay. But if you love you, if you can be patient with yourself, your flaws, and your failures, and if you can be honest and vulnerable with yourself, then other people’s opinions stop mattering so much.

Sure, I want my friends to like me, but I no longer chase friendships that don’t “fit.” My friends love me, foibles and all. Sometimes I wonder if my willingness to be honest and to be vulnerable, to admit my mistakes and fears, is actually one of the reasons they love me… If I can be imperfect, then they can be, too. Vulnerability begets vulnerability.
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I know it’s easier said than done. It’s scary to go first… I think that’s why loving and accepting myself first was the key… Even if I opened up and they rejected me or judged me, I was safe because I loved me.

You’re on to something, Waka… Keep going. You’re doing great! :heart:

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It’s so hard to feel safe enough to be who you really are! I’m with you there! I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser. I’ve always had this idea of who I wanted to be and have been really hard on myself when I am not that person.

One of the things that I’ve always wanted to be but just have never been is a good housekeeper. (This may seem super silly to you… because it is a little bit.) I feel like if my house isn’t clean, people won’t like me. When I look at the mess, I see failure. It makes me feel lazy and like a slob. But lately I’ve been learning that people don’t really care what my house looks like, they just want a place to be where they feel safe hanging out. And I would rather invite people into my messy house and have relationships than to wait until I get my act together to have people over.

I will never love the fact that I’m a messy person. I will always wish my house was cleaner, but I am learning to love and accept who I am. I am learning that other people need to see the authentic me so that they can be their authentic selves. It’s so hard. It makes me feel so vulnerable, and I have definitely been burned and had to learn who I can trust.

If all else fails, you have an entire community of people who want to know the real you, who care about you and won’t judge you. Life is messy. People are messy. The good news is that it’s not just you! :two_hearts:

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