Teaching Your Sweetie About Rejection When You Haven’t A Clue

I had an intriguing experience this past week that brought up some feelings for me, and it made me think.

I was indulging in some late-night leisure time, catching up on my silly online gaming interest, which includes a group chat – for support reasons, primarily, but lots of folks spit their dribble on there, too. I decided to pop in and say hello, even though I wasn’t particularly in need of any assistance, just felt like having a conversation with someone.

“Hello, all!” I said, cheerily.

Not one of the twenty or so people in the chat said anything back.

I was a little hurt, but I decided to just go on with my game-playing, and ended up trying again the next night.

“Howdy, folks!” I said, a little less cheerily in my head this time.

My message was completely ignored.

This time, I felt a bit deflated. Not even one single ‘hello’!

I’m not a newcomer to the game (though there are several folks who have been playing for quite a while), so I definitely expected something more. It actually hurt my feelings a little, to be completely honest. I thought about how silly that feeling seemed to me, being as how it took place over the Internet, but my hurt was still there, despite my opinion about it, and how “real” I qualified it to be.

It made me think about all the times that I have put quite a bit of effort into friendships – letting people know I am thinking about them; texts, messages, and calls, just to ask how their day was or how they were doing; attempts at getting together – more times than not by far that I have just been myself, and cared about really getting to know someone, it has gone nowhere. It makes one think, even if this is surely not the truth, that there must be something wrong with oneself; maybe I talk too much, maybe I am too intimidating, controversial, or embarrassing, maybe I’m not funny enough or interesting enough; maybe I am too nice. Or, maybe, I am just the only one in the entire world of people I have met up to this point that has the ideas I have regarding friendship, and what it means. (Possible, but could it really be?)

It made me think of how hard it is, to be a mami who is at the end of her mid-twenties, and trying to make new friends, or strengthen existing friendships. Everyone I observe around me seems to have these groups to which they already belong, and have for some time, like a club that doesn’t have any room for new members. It’s hard, because some days I really want to tell someone how I am doing, and there is no one to tell, because there is no one asking. It’s hard, because some days I wonder why I even have a phone, if no one ever calls.

These kinds of thoughts make me feel bad about myself. I wonder what I am doing wrong.

I read, not too long ago, someone’s blog where they posted about friendship, and saw something that really stood out for me. They said, sometimes, if you try and try again, and the other person doesn’t bite, that maybe they don’t really want to be the same kind of friends that you would like to be, and to leave it lie. Try again with someone else. That made a lot of sense to me; however, the problem is, no one ever really bites these days! What am I supposed to do with that?!

I end up just resigning myself to gazing longingly at folks hanging out together, trading inside jokes back and forth, and lots of laughter, thinking that maybe having friends – real, close friends – just isn’t for me. Maybe I am one of those people who will always have acquaintances, but no one really knows them.

As with all things these days, I began to think of the effects this might have on Mr. Sweetie. First of all, what will he think of observing this experience? And second, what happens if he goes through a similar situation, and looks to me for advice? I can hear the (dramatized) conversation now:

“Well, Sweetie, I have been waiting for this day to come, and for you to ask me this exact question. The truth is, we’re just weird, and we don’t have friends. Don’t be too disappointed, and don’t get your hopes up. Books are a great thing, as are hobbies, and you can always talk to yourself. Oh, and animals will listen to you.”

Okay, maybe that’s a little pessimistic. But, really, what do I say? How can I constructively talk him through rejection, when I have no earthly idea how to navigate it myself?

Here is the conversation that I would like to have with him:

“Well, Sweetie, I have been waiting for this day to come, and for you to ask me this exact question.

“The truth is, sometimes people don’t want to be the same kind of friend to you as you want to be to them. It doesn’t mean you’re weird, or that there’s anything wrong with you. It just means that you haven’t met anyone like you, yet.

“Something that may help you understand is the old question of the tree falling in the forest: if no one is there, does it make a sound? If you are an awesome friend, but there is no one to see how awesome you are, are you still awesome? Maybe you could try moving your tree to an area where there are people, so when it falls, there is a wonderful ‘crack!’ Let’s find some activities you can get involved in that will give you opportunities to make new friends.

“People love being around all kinds of people; you just have to find the people who love being around you. It’s like a treasure hunt. One day, you might reach a point in your map where all you come up with is dirt, but then you’ll realize that the ‘X marks the spot’ is really a little further on, and not to worry, you’ll make it there.

“I know how hard it can be to feel like no one wants to be your friend, and how easy it can be just to focus on that, and let it keep you from pursuing new and wonderful opportunities. But friends are not like Santa; friends are real. Just keep being yourself, focus on improving your life, and the friends will come.”

 

Have you ever had a conversation like this one with your little sweetie? What did you say? If you haven’t, what sort of conversation do you think you will have? Have you ever had a friendship experience like this? Please leave a comment in the space below, so we can all help each other and learn together! Thanks for reading!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do

 

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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