I’ve felt so very alone for years and I felt like I didn’t know how to be friends with people or that no one was my friend, acquaintances but not friends.
The other day I was really thinking on why, what I thought would make someone a friend in my brain and I was able to separate my friends into two categories. This really is helping me to understand and break through my negative perceptive filter (seeing everyone else’s actions as being about me and thus an active rejection of me at all times rather than mostly having nothing to do with me and being neutral).
My two categories are Wanted and Welcome.
There are hundreds and hundreds of people who Welcome me. If I called they would answer, if I said “Let’s hang out!” and then set a date they would joyfully welcome me and love being with me. If they see me somewhere we will totally spend some time. But they aren’t calling me, they aren’t pressing for my time, they aren’t pushing to be an active and frequent part of my life. (AND THAT’S OK! People have their own things happening and their lives don’t need to be about me!) These people Welcome me.
Then there is Wanted – I can think of very few people (less than five) people who are friends who Want me. People who reach out without my having to reach out first, people who ask for my time, ask for my energy (this is reciprocal – no energy vampires here – I do the same to them, we Want each other). People who send me links and pictures and memes because they are thinking of me. People who are actively asking for my time, my energy, my presence.
When I was expecting everyone that I applied the word “friend” to to fulfill the Wanted criteria, there was practically no one. I was basically friendless and totally alone. When I gave myself these categories and permission to think of people as “Welcome” friends that really opened my perception of how many friends I do have. Just because they aren’t beating down the door doesn’t have to disqualify them or me from friendship.