Sunday, October 22, 2006

Advice from Strangers

"The opposite of love is indifference." - Lynn from "Girlfriends"

When I first heard that statement, I didn't put much thought into it. I surmised that there was some truth to it, but I didn't dwell on it. Tonight, I watched a new show called, "Brothers and Sisters", where a couple discussed breaking up. He told her that he had no doubt she could get along well on her own; the difficult part would be letting someone else in. That struck a huge chord with me; especially after the deep (unwanted) conversation I had last night with someone I've only known for a few weeks. It's a long story, but it basically involved the intimacy of kissing.

I know that I am capable of loving and sharing myself, but I don't convey that very well to others. Indifference seems to be my staple characteristic. I have heard on more than one occasion that I am emotionless, aloof, and even cold. I have become so accustomed to guarding myself that I don't even remember when it started. I don't recognize my behavior towards others anymore. I foolishly believed that I was changing because I was trying harder to open myself up to others. Apparently, it's not working. No one else seems to appreciate my effort. I have built so many walls around myself as insulation from hurt and pain that I don't always realize that I am hurling it at someone else. Yes, I explain it away as a defense mechanism, but it's time for the defenses to come down. My friend used to have a stuffed toy that would make smart aleck comments when it was thrown against something. "Get over it!"

My close friends have no problem telling me when I'm wrong. They know that I can be cold sometimes and they call it out. They also recognize that they can count on me to be honest when they need to hear the truth. They know that I am trustworthy - I don't share their secrets, even with people that don't know them. I sign a confidentiality agreement in my heart. I am giving and loving. I am thoughtful - like the night I played and sang "You are My Friend" to Ish in the drive-thru at Chubby's. (so cheesy) When I tell someone that I love them, I mean it. I don't throw those words around in vain. My best friend (the still unlicensed therapist) calls me narcissistic. We have been friends since middle school and still get along because we can call out each other's faults and also recognize our strengths. We are opposites. I am cold at first and push most people away until I warm up to them (if they stick around long enough), and she is very friendly at first until you try to get closer and she pushes you away. We are both very careful about how much we share with others.

Now, back to that original statement on indifference. I pride myself on not hating anyone. Someone recently asked me if I had any enemies, and I said none that I am aware of, but if there were any I wouldn't care. That seems to be my mantra. I don't care. If you want to see me. I don't care. If you don't want to see me. I don't care. If you want to go to the moon. I don't care. If you want to take me with you. I don't care. You want to talk to me. I don't care. You don't want to talk to me. I don't care. Either way it goes, I'll be fine. I'll survive. Most of the time when I say that I don't care, I really mean it. Sometimes, it's just a facade. I had a conversation with a male friend about a guy that I really liked and things didn't work out. He was shocked to see that I cared so much about what happened between us, and I kept trying to figure out what went wrong. Until that point, he thought that I was always calm and level-headed, but I told him that is the face I show to the world. When I really care about someone, I want to please them, even if it's not something that I always want to do. When they hurt me, I don't show it - not to them anyway. I might think of things I want to say or do to hurt them, but usually it just goes down on paper, stays in my head, or goes into the ears of a good friend. I've only had one crazy moment when I destroyed someone's property, but I was really calm when I did it and it made me feel so much better. They deserved more, but I got my point across - Literally. : )

If I were to grade myself on how well I get along with others, I would give myself a B. However, based on feedback I've received, I'm not sure if I'm worthy of a passing grade. I need to become more aware of my interactions with others and how they might interpret my behavior, or lack thereof. I think that being alone has only bolstered my self-reliance and tendency to do things on my own without seeking input from others. I am very comfortable with myself and making my own decisions. I'd rather do a lot of things by myself because I don't have to consider the other person's needs or wants. There's nothing wrong with that, but I must make a better effort of including and welcoming people in my life.

I am a life in progress.

I pray for you.
You pray for me.
I love you.
I need you to survive.

You are important to me.
I need you to survive.


Post a Comment

<< Home