A few events from this year have led me to think about my past and present relationships. Throughout the years, friends and significant others have come in and drifted out of my life, some temporarily and some permanently. I have always been the type to blame myself for everything that might have gone wrong in these relationships. I have come to determine that I am just a "toxic" person or that I am just not able to be socially acceptable. In thinking about this more I am seeing that maybe I am not toxic at all, maybe I just have not shared an equal relationship with some of these people. I tend to be a rather big giver in relationships. I don't seem to have a problem with giving my friends things that some might see as a bit much. I have always considered myself a loyal friend - a friend that can be counted on when needed and supportive in general. I am realizing that I sometimes make the relationship strained in doing things like this.
I was talking to my Mom last night and it seems that she has done similar things with friendships in the past as well. She explained it in a way I understood and I have been reflecting on it ever since. She said that instead of the relationship being 50/50, I tend to make it more like 75/25. I can put stress on the relationship and other person by doing things like this.
While I know that some of my ended relationships can't and won't be amended, I am hoping that maybe some can be. I know, however, that I will use this realization in making present and future relationships better.
As far as new friends go, I am actually making some, ha ha. It has been quite a while since doing so. The only thing to blame is my hesitence in getting out there and experiencing things and meeting new people. I tended to stay at home glued to my computer most of the time for the past 3 years. I was only socializing with people via internet forums, places I went to for support for various things and the like. Now, I have made wonderful friendships in doing this, but I also need friends that I can actually spend physical time with. Studies have shown that just being in the presence of a friend or family or whatnot can decrease your blood pressure and help your health overall. Cool huh?
Some of my recent friendships are a result of my joining a website called Meetup.com. Someone had suggested the site to me in late 2009 and I was reluctant to try it for quite a while. I guess I saw it as something that would be considered kind of pathetic to need. Nope, not at all. In a larger city like this where I am not in a school atmosphere, meeting new people is rather difficult. Sure, you could possibly strike up a conversation with a neighbor, a fellow public transit user, or maybe a co-worker, but those are not always guarantees. With Meetup.com, you are already connected to people through an interest or two, so the relationship can feel comfortable quickly.
I challenge you to give it a try if you find yourself more often than not wanting to be able to do things with people more often.
I guess in summary I have learned a lot about friendships and what I have learned will pay off for sure.