I our latest batch of books from the library we have one book by Eric Carle (LOVE his books!) called Do You Want To Be My Friend? It's an sweet story of a little mouse who goes from animal to animal trying to find someone, anyone who would be his friend. He first sees the tale of the animal and asks to be his friend, and the when the mouse sees the head of the animal he realizes that animal wouldn't make a great friend. He eventually finds another mouse at the end of the story with whom he can be friends.
I often times feel like that little mouse. I feel so lost and lonely sometimes, and if I'm not careful, Satan can really use my lack of friendship as a means of discouragement. I think I've mentioned before that I've never been good at making friends, and looking back of my years of growing up and going through college, I think I really only ever had three people, aside from my husband, who could actually truly fit the definition of a friend. Now I face a reality that the people who could most closely fall under the definition of a friend are people I've gotten to know through Facebook. But for some reason, I'm just not good at real, face-to-face friendships.
And I can't honestly figure out why.
I'm a blunt person. If someone asks my opinion on something, I may try to be tactful in my answer, but I'm not going to sugar coat my answer or be apologetic for my opinion. Maybe that's a problem? I can be pretty opinionated. But I try to just spout my opinion (outside of my blog) without being asked.
I can be perhaps too open about personal things sometimes. Perhaps as a result of never having a set friend to share things with, if I find someone who I think may be a friend or friendly, I have a tendency of taking advantage of the opportunity to talk to someone. Maybe that's my problem? I really should learn to be a more quiet and stand-offish person.
I've always been gullible, and being a follower is always what kept me in trouble as I was growing up. The only friends I had then were ones who could (and would) use me. Well, I'm not of much use to anyone now. So maybe that's my problem? No one can use me so they don't want to be my friend.
I think I may come across as too abrupt. I like to serve and take care of people. But often times I think I may just come across as pushy in my attempt to help people realize I'm not just throwing out false offers of help knowing they won't accept. When I offer assistance I'm being serious and genuine. Maybe that's a problem. I shouldn't be pushy in trying to help people. I should just offer once and let it alone.
In the last few months I've manage to alienate at least three people, and I'm thinking perhaps a fourth. The three weren't really friends, but acquaintances in good standing, I guess you could say. In two of the three cases I was asked why I take a certain stand on a certain subject. In each case the person disagreed with my answer. One totally blocked me from anything on Facebook and has attempted to be cordial in public but I'm not fooled. The other never responded and has still remained a nice acquaintance, but I was very hurt and upset one day when we were in a place with our kids and I watched my daughter try speaking to her, and the adult ignored her. The third would be a result of poor communication on my part and an unintentional insult. And the fourth? I really don't know what I've done wrong, but I did it. And that one hurts the most because that one wasn't an acquaintance. I really thought I'd found a friend.
Recently my husband encouraged me to go to a ladies' night out which was suppose to be a craft/fellowship night with some ladies at church. I really didn't want to go. But he thought it would be nice for me to have the opportunity to get out, do some crafting that I never have the opportunity to do, and fellowship with adults, which I rarely get to do. Fellowshiping with adults makes me nervous. Anyway. My sweet husband took me to JoAnn's and let me get supplies to work on craft I wanted to do all in preparation for that evening. When I arrived, I sat in the parking lot for at least twenty minutes trying to pep-talk myself into going inside. Once I walked in, I knew I'd made a mistake. I felt like Daniel walking into the lion's den, only I wasn't so confident in the lion's mouths being closed. The event was "hosted" by the one who had completely blocked me from her social network. Talk about awkward. She was standing there greeting everyone as they come in and trying to figure out how to politely skip over me--which she did. I sat at a table by myself and was barely spoken to. I tried to join a conversation at a nearby table, but one lady purposely kept her back to me and another turned her back toward me during the conversation. So I stayed out. I did get to speak with two ladies whom I hadn't met before, and I did enjoy the little bit of conversation I had with each of them. But part of me just knows better than to get my hope up of having some type of friendship with any of the ladies. As soon as I politely could (around people getting up and speaking during the evening) I packed up my bag and brought myself home to pout on the couch and cry to my husband.
I know I need to learn and fully accept that God truly is the only friend I really need. And I need to be content in the companionship of my husband. I'm am thankful for my God and for my husband. I will continue to strive to be content without a female friend.
I really think I can live without girlfriends, but having SO many enemies really bothers me. I know that it's not pleasing to the Lord for me to be at odds with so many people, but I really don't know what to do about it.