If you’re willing to Listen, Life is willing to Teach you

Last week a friend of mine wasn’t feeling so chipper, so I wanted to do something nice for her. We agreed to meet up at the end of the week, when both our schedules seemed to align. So the day came, and I wasn’t sure of exactly when we’ were meeting. You know how it is, you text someone, then when they respond it’s about something else. Before you know it you’re chatting, and important details get forgotten. Eventually I didn’t end up meeting my friend, we were definitely not on the same page about the timing. At first I was upset, because lately it seems our timing is always off, someone is always unclear about when we’re supposed to meet.

Sometimes it’s not always about ME!

While a communication faux-pas would be a great topic to write about, it’s not the focal point of what I learnt from that experience. I started by saying I wanted to do something nice for my friend, but at some point I made it about me. In my mind I was going into it with my own agenda. It had been some time since I’d seen her, and there were questions I had, and wanted to ask. So when we weren’t able to meet, I was upset, because I was feeling “why does this keep happening to ME?” While the timing was off, my friend no longer felt like being social, so this worked in her favor. So that brings me back to my central question. If it was supposed to be about her, about how to help improve her mood, how did it become about me? You see Life had a way of interjecting here, and I’m thankful for that. Had I met with my friend, the evening would have been about getting my questions answered, instead of listening to what she had to say. Of course men this is a critical lesson for you, sometimes a Woman just needs you to listen, sometimes it’s not about solving a problem. Sometimes she needs to FEEL like she’s been heard, and that you care about what she’s experiencing.

Your light shines through no matter what

As luck would have it, life wasn’t done giving me lessons this weekend. I’ve shared from time to time about my faith, it’s a central part of who I am, my guiding light. I’ve never liked those people who stand on their soap boxes and preach about what a sinner you are, it always seemed so judgmental and boastful. So when it comes to my faith, I take a different approach, if you ask me why I have certain views, I’ll tell you about how my faith has molded that view. I’m not comfortable in pointing out all of your flaws, because the reality is that I’m struggling to live my life a certain way everyday, and I do have my flaws and secrets. I mentioned in a few previous posts that I constantly doubt myself, I doubt my purpose and my influence on others to live a positive life. My roommate came to me last night because he felt that he needed to share something with me. Generally I’m the one sharing positive things, and inspiring others, so it’s a bit weird receiving it. What he had to say was that he can feel that I’m a positive person who has the ability to lead others in living a similar life. He wanted me to know that I’ve been a good influence, and that he can see my light shining through. I thought this was interesting, because as I said earlier, I haven’t been feeling so confident about myself lately. What this showed me though is that my values and beliefs that are at my core are strong. Despite how I may feel on the inside, on the outside I can can still influence and encourage others to live a positive life. As I think about that, it’s important to glean this key out from everything I’ve said:

“when you embrace who you are, others will see THAT, despite how you may feel about yourself.”

So what you ask? What’s the WIFM (what’s in it for me).

  1. If you’re doing something for someone else, make sure it’s about them. Sure you’ll feel good and get a benefit from helping your friend. However if it becomes too much about your needs, then you’re not serving your friend well. Try to be more about ‘what your friend would like have done to them’ (platinum rule) rather than ‘what would I like have done to me’ (golden rule).
  2. Despite how you may feel on the outside, what’s in your heart is what others actually see. So the good news is that others will see the real you, the bad news is that others will see the real you. Your light will always shine through especially when it’s dark.

I’d love to get some feedback, no seriously I’m asking for it! How will what I said change the way you interact with others. Are there any strategies you’d like to share on how you overcome this obstacle?

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What are Friends for!!

happy friends

The past few weeks I’ve been more in a reflecting mood, I’ve been thinking about my friendships, and why I’m drawn to some people but not others. I had an exchange with a friend, and I was surprised that they had completely misunderstood me for years. Had I been projecting something to make them see me in a different light? Had I subconsciously meant to hurt them? How have I misunderstood them for all these years? While I had many more unanswered questions, I did realize one thing, my friend and I had both misunderstood each other. So what are the things that draw me into other people, what are the qualities I look for in a True Friend. In today’s society with the readily available social media, what does it take to be my friend, those people I meet for the first time who send me a friend request, is that a Friend? What about friends of your friends you meet, if I’ve briefly spoken a few words to you in a 2 minute conversation, does that make us friends? There are people out there with thousands of “friends” does that mean I’m not a friendly person if I don’t have hundreds of friends on social media? Better yet if I never talk to you again after meeting you once, then what qualifies us to be friends, why do we get to read about and get updates about others’ lives. While I do see many benefits to social media, I find myself wondering, what makes someone a Friend and not another random friend? So this is what I came up with:

  • A Friend is non-judgmental, they won’t use your flaws against you in an argument, especially if it’s not about the same topic.
  • A Friend is unapologetic, meaning they don’t feel shame about who they are, or don’t blame you for your flaws.
  • Shows up when they’re NEEDED, but won’t get mad if you don’t show up to some random event they’re involved in, especially when they know you don’t like that cause. Will also understand when you have a new boyfriend/girlfriend, and won’t expect for you to ditch your new flame just to be with them.
  • They’ll pick you up when you fall, will say “how can WE help get you back up on your feet.”
  • With a True Friend, you’ll never have to explain your personality flaws/quirks. They actually like you more because you have flaws, they like you because of YOUR flaws.
  • You feel excited to share things with them, you don’t avoid certain topics because you don’t know if they’ll be mad or get jealous.
  • You don’t feel the need to explain yourself, they just get it!
  • They’ll show up to your newest hair-brained idea to support you. But if it’s bad, they’ll be the first to tell you, and they’ll think they did you a favor.

Good friends are hard to find, but as I reflect I know that I’ve come across a few people that have made an impression on me. Although many of us are now leading different lives, and sometimes we don’t speak that often. That hasn’t changed us, when we see each other again, it’s like we’ve just seen each other just yesterday. What about you, what makes a friend a Friend? What draws you in to some people and form a strong bond?

Count on me