Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, the single most important factor that defines our happiness and longevity in life is the quality of relationships we have in our life.
It’s not the quantity of people we know, but the quality of the relationships we have. This is a proven fact.
So if you are craving deep meaningful relationships (which I know for women is vital), but you often feel hurt, left out, or forgotten out of your network of friends, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on within.
Anytime things in your physical world are not going the way you want them to, the answers to course correcting them, lie within. Yes, I realize it’s sooooo cliche, but it’s cliche, because it’s the truth.
I moved A LOT growing up. I moved cities and countries and was always the odd one. First I was the girl, who was the only Hindu, in an area of India that was majority Christian. I prayed to a different God to the rest of the kids at school and for that I was mercilessly teased.
Then I was the only brown skinned girl in the school that I attended in England. People called me “Paki” when I was Indian and I was physically and emotionally bullied for my color and culture.
So, the story that I believed was that it was hard to make friends because I never fit in.
1. Are you are looking for reasons to not fit in? Are you looking for evidence to confirm your stories and beliefs that you don’t have friends? As humans, we are programmed to see only the things that confirm our beliefs. Anything that debunks it, we weed it out, because we simply don’t see it.
So you might be missing perfectly good opportunities for friendships, because you are so busy believing that it’s hard to make friends.
2. Are you looking for others to invite you and make you feel included? It’s the party season and it’s easy to sit back and wait for others to make you feel included. And if we don’t get invited, it’s easy to pass the blame and the responsibility on to others and despise them for making us feel left out.
But, can you create your own event and invite the people you wish to get to know better? It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk being vulnerable, but the secret to building meaningful relationships is to make yourself available and open.
3. Are you wanting to belong to the crowd that you perceive as cool, rather than looking for “your people”?
I know this sounds so high-school’ish but a lot of us do this. We put people on a pedestal and often want to belong to their inner circle, but don’t see ourselves as good enough to belong.
This starts a vicious cycle where you appreciate them from afar, long to be part of the inner click but can’t bring yourself to integrate fully with them because you don’t feel good enough.
Stop idolizing and longing and start seeing yourself as worthy of having great friends.
Look for the people that make you feel comfortable in your own skin and have the same internal values as you, rather than the external materials things that you aspire to.
4. Are you censoring your true self? Worried that you are too loud, too shy, too much, too quiet, too boring, too………
If you are worried about your true self and you turn up at social gatherings as someone other than yourself, then you are not allowing others to experience the authentic you.
Trying to appear as someone other than yourself, is a guaranteed way of having shallow relationships, because no one has been allowed to get to know the real you.
5. Are you afraid to speak up and ask for what you want in your relationships?
I once had to fire a friend, because she was treating me as an afterthought. She would stand me up for lunch dates, play dates and dinner dates. I kept letting it slide, until one day I had had enough. So I ended the relationship and I wished her all the best in life.
I was heartbroken, but that was a lesson learned to speak up before things got bad in a friendship.
Today, I tell my girlfriends if I have been feeling ignored or unheard.
So where are you not speaking up? Where are you letting yourself be treated unfairly?
Building deep relationships doesn’t have to be hard.
But you do have to be willing to put yourself out there.
To take down some of the walls that you have carefully built over the years.
To take a look at your beliefs and stories that are self fulfilling, but are not helping you live the best version of your life.
During this holiday season, as you go to parties, start to become the observer of your thoughts and actions. Awareness is the key to change.