Have you ever sat across the table from someone who asks you about yourself, but the moment that you ask them a personal question they shut down? They go around gathering information on you and others, but never have the intention of being genuine in return. Most of these folks are afraid to be judged, and usually not comfortable with their own story. Therefore, they hide behind robotic answers, and try to live vicariously through you, never divulging anything personal.
What I’ve realized is that these type of people are so “closed,” and we may never establish a real relationship with them. Because relationships go both ways. They are the ones who will probably walk out of the revolving door of our lives fairly quickly. What I find fascinating is to learn to detect them earlier on, and to know how much investment of our time (and ourselves) to put into them.
I’m not saying that you need to be everyone’s friend, or trust quickly. Professional situations and casual conversations among acquaintances also don’t count. I’m talking about people who seem to want to be our friend, existing friendships, and relationships with people that matter or seem to count in our lives.
I have also encountered “closed” people who are afraid to experience emotions. They simply do not know what to do with them. Mostly, because they are uncomfortable expressing themselves. Some quickly give you the “it’s all for a reason” line to shut you up. If angry, forget it, they quickly want to run away. Even if the anger is not directed towards them. I once had a very good friend say to me after an outburst, and then my apology regarding a difficult situation, “Don’t apologize for your anger. If I wanted the happy, dancing, Yexenia at all times then I wouldn’t get you 100%. I’d get you in pieces. Cry, yell, whatever it takes to let it out. At least you speak your mind, and I’m not left wondering.”
She was right, we don’t get people in pieces. We experience people as a whole package. The good, the bad, the great, and the awfully unique — but that’s OK for we should be our authentic selves with those people who are not afraid to be themselves with us (if not at all times). It should be reciprocal. Again, this isn’t for everyone in our lives, but if there are people in it who only want to hear the good stuff, then at least we know how to handle them. I actually have a friend that only reaches out to me when bad stuff is going on. There are those who feel like they fulfill a role of saviors in our lives. However, I’m lucky to have people who know the entire “Yexenia” (mostly), and I can say that I know them pretty well too. Of course we are always evolving and not always sharing, but genuine people in our lives will want to know what’s going on.
To invest in friendships and relationships takes a huge part of us, which is more valuable than money to me. We should always be genuine in our words and our actions as much as possible, and rarely be apologetic about who we are.
“Keep your heart clear
And you will
Never be bound.
A single disturbed thought
Creates ten thousand distractions.”