Posts Tagged With: friendship

Shattered Boxes


I always find it interesting how we create these images of various people we’ve met. You know, we have a particular idea about how they probably behave, talk or react to the world when we’re not around. This inevitably puts them in a particular box that we are none too quick to release them from. So much so, that when they do or say something that goes against our established image of them, we think it’s “out of character” or that “something must be wrong”.

Personally, I think people are multifaceted beings that have a propensity to exhibit behavior that could seem contradictory in nature. What it really means is that there is more to each of us than we share with every individual. For instance, some people know me for my writing, while others know me for my music. And there are others who have absolutely no idea that I write OR sing. For them, finding out that I do either (or both) would completely shatter their image of me.

Which is a bit sad considering those particular things have always been a part of me, even if I haven’t shared them.

So yeah… there are parts of me that I share with some people and not with others, depending on the context of our discussion and the depth of our friendship. And so it goes, that in getting to know people, we discover other parts of who they are.

To me, that’s the most exciting part about developing relationships… there is always the potential for surprise.

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sugar Coat


I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t understand something. I think everyone suffers when you pretend to understand something you don’t. Usually, I’ll go to the source to try and find out whatever bit of information I’m missing so that I’ll have everything I need on which to base my opinion. If I’m unable to go to the source or the source proves unreliable, I just leave well enough alone. It’s not that I can’t have an opinion, I just don’t think my opinion is any more credible than those who formulate ideas about what an actor is really like, based solely on the roles they play.

Seems silly.

That being said, I’m trying to understand something… how is it that people somehow find a way to make everyone a hero? We make horrible decisions and must deal with the consequences. Nevertheless we will still find a crowd of people rushing to console and defend someone under the guise of being a “real friend”.

I don’t need friends like that. I need someone who will tell me point blank, “Riis, that was wrong.” or “Riis, you need to apologize.” or even “Riis, you messed up bad. Either you make this right or you suffer the fallout alone because I can’t support this kind of behavior.”

See… give it to me straight. Don’t sugarcoat my feelings or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will never grow that way.

Let me say that again…

Don’t sugarcoat my feelings, or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will NEVER grow that way.

Growth is invaluable.

Growth is sometimes painful.

Growth is necessary.

I can’t live without growth.

But I can live without the sugar coat.

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Personal Thunderstorms


Have you ever had one of those seemingly endless seasons when you’ve gone through an incredibly rough time? You know, it’s not just a bad day, but it’s like you’re standing under your own personal storm cloud. We become completely engrossed in and preoccupied by the trial we’re facing. So much so, that we can’t see or enjoy the people around us.

As an empath, I sometime fight to resist taking on the struggles and pain of others. My heart genuinely breaks for those being mistreated, suffering abuse, or battling addictions. Thing is, people are rarely going through the same thing at the same time. For each of us, there is usually no storm “harder” or “worse” than the one we’re currently facing. And I get that.

In truth, we vary so much from circumstance to circumstance and from history to history (how we grew up or the particular experiences we’ve had), that one person’s thunder storm could easily be another person’s slight drizzle.

One thing I’m sure of is that every person’s struggle is different. And we never really know what someone is actually going through. Even if on the outside things look fine. We can’t always see the turmoil within.

So I would just encourage us to show a little more compassion to our family, friends, and colleagues. Be kind…

…on purpose.

Because we never know how hard it may be just to get through the next minute for the person standing right in front of us.

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The Feels: Importance


How many times have you felt undervalued by someone whose opinion matters to you?

How often are your actions dictated by the outcome you secretly hope for, but are not confident you’ll receive?

How many times must someone suffer disappointment before disappointment becomes their default expectation?

These and many questions like them have plagued me over the years. Why? Because when all is said and done, I want to be important in someone’s life. Whether they be relatives, coworkers and friends.  No, I’m not saying I want to be better than anyone. I just want to stand out amongst those they consider close. I don’t want to be lumped in with a nondescript group of “writers”, “singers”, “bloggers”, or “men”. I want something very specific to cross their minds when they think of me. Something that sets me apart from the rest. In a good way, of course. 

I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way, can I?

Interpersonal relationships can be strange at times. I mean, underneath all of life’s chaos, I believe we simply desire true connection with other people. Even though we realize that many of these connections will vary in degrees of trust and intimacy. There will be some people you will have to keep at arm’s length. There will be others whom you will be able to trust implicitly.

Hopefully, we develop connections with people who desire the same type of relationship, and are willing to put forth an equal measure of effort. Because there’s something inherently draining about being on the short end of a non-reciprocating relationship. This has caused me to become somewhat apprehensive with people as I’ve gotten older. There is an underlying worry… maybe fear of rejection, fear of incompatibility, or the emotional (and physical) exhaustion of being an introvert who pours themselves out to depletion.

I think that’s part of the reason why I write, and specifically, blog.

It’s probably also one of the reasons it usually takes me a long time to get to know someone outside of seeing them at church, or through the words they send in an email or post on a blog, or even by the pictures I might observe in an album.

I have embraced caution. Perhaps too tightly, however.

Still, people are fascinating in the sense that they often bring a completely different personality to our interactions, or a heretofore unknown perspective on our world.  Even so, I understand that these types of relationships are vital. And in the same way that I desire to be important, I’m learning that there are many who likewise desire to be no less important to me.

And so, in spite of myself, I’m stepping out. (deep breath) 🙂 I encourage you to do the same. 😉

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Ship” Anchors


Heavy Anchor

We’ve all seen anchors before, right? You know, those heavy pieces of weird-shaped, dark metal that boats drop whenever someone shouts “anchors away!” 😲 Seafarers are probably far more familiar with the various designs (and let me tell you, there are a lot of them). But I’m no sailor. When I think of anchors, I think back to cartoon characters like Popeye the Sailor Man, or various Looney Tunes characters who were not being very nice to each other (or the boat!) 😂.

What I do know is that anchors are designed to hold a ship in place. Once lowered, they prevent the ship from drifting due to heavy wind or strong currents. Most of the time, anchors are used in a manner of prevention. They are stabilizers. They secure the boat and keep both it and its occupants safe.

But I’m sure that as much as sailors value the stabilizing force these anchors may bring to the ship, their vessel will never move forward until the anchor is removed. Anchors will have to be lifted, or in worst cases, cut before the ship can make any forward progress.

In this regard, people can be anchors too. These are the family, friends, or coworkers in our lives who help to hold us in place. They are the ones that often keep us from drifting off with every unforeseen circumstance, issue or condition. They are stabilizers. And I do believe it is important to have these anchor in our lives. We hold onto them.

And yet, much like the anchors of a ship, sometimes we won’t be able to move forward in our lives with these anchors in place. Our various “-ships” will be stuck. Even if those “-ships” on the surface, look amazing and/or valuable. You know…

Sponsor-ships

Intern-ships

Partner-ships

Member-ships

Friend-ships

…even Relation-ships.

In cases where these “-ships” aren’t healthy or balanced, the anchor then becomes nothing more than an encumbrance. The very thing we rely upon for safety, turns into a dead weight that causes us harm, and impedes our progress.

J.J. Brando

Love My People

That’s why it’s important to check in every now and then, to assess these pivotal relationships. I’ve had to look soberly at the “-ships” in my life, and determine whether or not they align with my goals and objectives. A few are simply distractions, keeping me moored to the person I used to be, instead of allowing me to navigate toward the person I know I am to become. So I’ve had to cut or weigh anchor.

But thankfully, many of them are exactly what I need to stay focused. They point me toward my future and protect me from every wind that attempts to topple me.

To them, I say Thank You.

Do you have anchors in your life?

 

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