Last week, a client said to me –
“I’m afraid to make friends. I feel like we are going in circles and no one is really saying what they mean”
This problem is more common than we think –
Everyone seem to be having a hard time being vulnerable to others so everyone is playing the big pretend game.
Using different words, people try to convey any or all of this message:
“My life is supposed to be perfect but XYZ made it difficult”
“I’m doing the best I could but XYZ is preventing me to be free”
“I’m afraid of what you’d think of me so I’m eating and drinking as we talk about trivial things”
When instead, deep down, what they wanted to say we’re along the lines of:
“What if nobody likes me”
“I forgot who I am. Where did that (young version of myself) go?”
“How did I get here?”
So what causes this disconnect within and among people?
The Fear of Being Accepted
If you look at time and time again, you can see how all we yearn is simply to have a sense of belonging.
Even “Misfits” or “rebels” find their tribe so they can belong.
But a friendship based on fear will never go beyond that fear.
And you will be exhausted trying to keep playing the pretend game all the time.
How do you get past this and make “real” friends as “adults”?
1. Always always ASK about the person. Go beyond “how are you” and ask “so what made you decide to be A instead of B” or “have you ever liked coffee?”
2. Be discerning of the advice you give. Not everyone wants to be helped. But most people want to be heard and to have the container to just let loose and share their woes. Sometimes the best gift we can give is to simply listen.
3. Listen to learn..not respond. You don’t need to have the last say in anything. When you listen to learn, you will find more similarities than you think!
Instead of “making connections”, go for “making friends”. Friendship is something that can help flourish the soul!
What do you think? Do you have other tips on making friends that you can share with us?
Blessing of miracles,