It’s funny how things that happen in our past and childhood can condition the way we think, or how we act, even into adulthood. It’s crazy that even as a 22 year old college student, the things I experienced in elementary and middle school still affect my mindset today. Growing up as a child, I didn’t have tons of friends. I was bullied pretty badly, and although it’s been 10+ years since I went through that, I still am kind of weird about meeting new people. I’m not shy in the least bit, and I love meeting people, but, when it comes to initiating a friendship, in the back of my mind I still find myself thinking “what if this person doesn’t want to be my friend and is only being nice to me because they don’t want to be rude?” “What if I annoy this person?” “What if asking this person to hangout is overstepping my boundaries?”
Now, I’m much better than I used to be, and I really don’t have that problem anymore. I’m much more confident than I was in high school and even my first couple years of college…and I don’t really have a problem with initiating friendships. BUT, now, the main issue lies in once I’ve already established a friendship with someone. See, I’m notorious for having pretty crappy friends…there’s only a VERY select few people I’ve ever had in my life that I would actually consider a good, and real friend. Hence, why I’m so guarded now. In my past, some of these “friends” I’ve had would actually be extremely mean to me, talk to me like crap, use me, and really hurt my feelings. I remember friends telling me to stop asking them to hang out, or to stop calling them because I was “clingy” for wanting to hangout with them and that they “had enough of me,” and I was “annoying.” Mind you, this was coming from the person I considered my best friend. Since then, I’m always worried about coming across as annoying to my friends. I never want to lose a friendship because they thought I was annoying to too clingy again because it really does feel awful.
You see, because of events from my childhood, I always have this fear that the people I’m close to always mean more to me, than I do to them. It it’s pretty humiliating once you find out that you obviously didn’t mean as much to them as they did to you. So in order for that not to happen, I have a tendency to pretend like I don’t care about the people in my life as much as I really do. I get awkward and I don’t tend to let them know how much they truly mean to me. I back off and become passive and let them take the initiative to talk to me, hangout with me, etc. because I have this idiotic mindset that if they wanted to see me or talk to me, they would. And I do this with everyone. Even the people closest to me, who I know actually really do care about me a lot. It still scares me that they mean more to me. I don’t want to ever overstep my boundaries with someone, so I guess I just understep them, if that makes sense. And that’s bad. Really bad. Because eventually my friends are going to think I don’t care about them, or that they care more about me than I do them, when that’s actually not the case at all. And then they’ll either getting up hurt, like my childhood friends hurt me, or they’ll just get tired of being friends with someone they think doesn’t care and just remove themselves from my life. And I don’t want that. And it’s weird…the closer I am with someone, the worse I am, and the more I try to pretend I don’t care.
I guess maybe I’m just a little scared of being unguarded and growing close to someone. And I wish I wasn’t. See what I’ve done here? I’ve created such a mess. And I need to stop. I need to forget about my childhood and not let the bad people in my life back then affect the way I think today. Because I’m DEFINITELY not the same person I was back then. At all. I’m a million times more confident, mature, and happy and I need to change that stupid, stupid mindset. And I’m trying to. I’m working on it. And I’m trying to make an effort, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me at first. And I do see myself improving. I’ll get there.