Friday, April 11, 2008


Friendships are strange things. I like to think of myself as a friendly person; not particularly outgoing and not particularly shy. I love to be available for friends (or strangers) should they need a helping hand, a listening ear, or encouragement. Thus said, I have evaluated (in very basic groups) my relationships with people and decided there are a few changes which need to be made. Here is the evaluation:

Please recognise that this is very general; people shift across, or overlap with more than one area.

Also, I didn't mention extended family, but essentially they fit anywhere from "family" to "kind strangers" since I'd likely not recognise them on the street...

First, I would like to include more people into the "closest of friends" category. I think to do that I will have to release my tight-fisted idea of dignity and strength a little to allow some who currently reside in the "family" or "close friends" categories into the "closest friends" one.

Second, why do I have family members (essentially immediate family members) in the "hang-out buddies" section? That's got to change!

Third, I should get some of those co-workers out of the "only met a few times" category, and away from the dangerously close "kind strangers" category. I don't feel they need to be my best of friends, but at the very least they should occupy the same space as my hangout buddies, since I only work with 20-odd people!

Fourth, why do I differentiate between "kind strangers" and "strangers"? Somehow that doesn't feel right to me...

Relationships are very important to me, and I've noticed that time spent together makes a HUGE difference in intemacy levels. Living in Korea I spend my time with essentially the same people, and rarely make the time to maintain or improve my relationships with those who live further away. As a result, I'm often lonely. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time alone, but on a regular daily basis I only see co-workers or strangers. I need to relax my hold on my heart and allow others in, because I've noticed that I'm becoming solitary, easily irritated with others, and less able to understand the opinions/motives/actions of those around me. I've become judgemental and insensitive in many ways.

This is a very different picture from that I painted for myself at the begining of this post... but really, the kinder of the two is what I'm going to work harder to become. So... we'll see how this experiment goes.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, huge struggle! Being a big introvert I find it incredibly hard to let people in. My circles are way smaller than yours are and every day I fight with myself to not let them shrink further.
    And many more want to know me better.
    I'm not sure who will this battle either or what the cost to "me" will be.
    Blessings as you walk this one out.