As we take this blog in a new direction by examining relationships, I find myself examining my own relationships. Comments from a couple of friends of mine have really stuck in my head. These people have mentioned offhandedly that I am too private, that I don’t share with them my problems or my worries. I didn’t share with them things I’ve done. One of my friends was surprised to learn that I had a speaking engagement in the months previous to this conversation. That’s pretty minor, yet why wouldn’t I share something like that? It’s exciting!
So that got me thinking, why didn’t I share that with her? Am I too guarded? Do I not open up enough with my friends?
I know I want to have deeper relationships. I think sometimes I hold back because I don’t want to come across as the whiny friend, the desperate friend, the one who always needs something or is always complaining.
Unfortunately I have a friend like this. It got to the point where I dreaded the phone calls from this person because I knew it would be something negative. This is someone I’ve known since high school. But this was also one of my friends who told me that I never shared any problems I had or anything I was going through at the time. She took it as an offense that I wouldn’t open up to her. That has stuck in my brain and really got to me. I don’t consider myself someone who’s not sharing and not open. But in a way, it’s true, although I consider myself a very caring person.
In my small group at church were discussing ways to go deeper in our relationships with each other and how can we really make the group something special and dynamic. So I have an opportunity in front of me to go deeper yet I still feel myself holding back.
I can’t figure out what holds me back from letting people in a little deeper. I have friends that I share things with, but they are few. My husband is my best friend, and he probably knows me better than anyone. But why won’t I go deeper with my other friends, those I care about and want in my life?
Does my “fear” of being too whiny and needy outweigh me “going deeper” with my friends… trusting them? Do I fear rejection? Is the bigger question: am I missing out on more meaningful friendships by holding back?
What advice do you have? What experiences have you had in trusting your friends, and really confiding in them?
I look forward to hearing from you.
(Photo credit: Photos_by_Lis / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND)
Wow i really thought you were talking about me with this blog. I am exactly the same way. I have tried to analyze why I am like this. In my situation dealing with infertility i have met a great number of girls, so that i don't feel alone. I stay super positive for them, but i won't open up my own feelings to them. I am afraid of being the whining, negative, and bitter one. So i start and then close up. I know in my heart these girls think i am guarded and have made comments to me about it. It just makes me vulnerable, but am i losing precious relationships to finally have someone that understands my pain and loneliness. I agree i want to have a closer relationship with them.
Well, I don't think you could ever be whiny or needy!! I think you have a sweet spirit and I have always felt comfortable around you. I don't tend to share too much either – and like you, I am not sure why. I think it's a trust issue for me. I didn't have lasting, meaningful friendships until I was in college, and after I became a Christian I developed deeper friendships. But I have also been burned a few times, and that hurts. Unfortunately it makes me hold back some, until I really know a person. And then they probably wish I'd shut up, lol!! Think of it this way – by holding yourself back, you are denying someone the pleasure of getting to know how wonderful you are. God gives us friends for a reason. Enjoy them. 🙂
That is the tough part: opening yourself up and being vulnerable. I think we're all a bit afraid of that. But I know that you are wonderful and it will be worth it to take a chance and pick one of them to open up with some more. Sharing these feelings will be a blessing that goes both ways. And yes, it's easy for me to say sitting here and not practicing that same “open up” advice for myself. Love you!
Thanks, Cathy. Maybe that's something we both can work on… not holding back as much.
Let's stay positive and be thankful for those lasting friendships that we hold dear.
Look forward to seeing you in September!