Relationships are a funny thing. I was thinking about how we all intermingle with each other to create individual, unique relationships with one another. It got me to thinking about all the different jobs I've had in my life (I've had a lot!) and all the people I've met in my nearly 47 years and how many relationships I've had/have. I like making friends and having fun, but I'm the kind of person that trusts almost too easily, and this can be a bad thing.
Some people are pretty reserved, slow to get into a relationship, some people seem to be a bit wary while others give almost no thought at all about jumping into a relationship. Me, I may not jump right into a relationship, but I tend to be a "benefit of the doubt" type of person, thinking that the other person would not mean me any harm. This has gotten me into trouble many times. I find out too late that the other person was only looking out for themselves.
The other day I said something to a friend that was meant to help, but my friend took it as insulting, thinking I was being patronizing. This was the furthest thing from my mind. I apologized for my comment and tried to explain, but my friend shut me off. I really felt unjustly convicted of a crime I didn't commit. I hate that feeling. I would never purposely hurt anyone. I like people to like me. It's my personality! If someone doesn't like me, I keep thinking, "Why don't they like me? What can I do to change that?"
The following morning we were able to talk things out and all is good, but it got me to thinking. Why did it hurt me so much? Seriously, I was miserable. I've known some people that couldn't give two hoots about what others think of them. Frankly I've never understood how those people do that. It seems impossible to me. So what's different?
I think it boils down to what I mentioned earlier. It's what we put into the relationship. If you put yourself into a relationship, you are putting a piece of your character into that relationship. I look at it in the way it hurts when you stub your toe. You know how much that hurts and it seems to resonate pain throughout your whole body? Why? It's only your little toe! Much like that, but on the emotional side, you have a part of yourself in that relationship and when it gets struck, it stings. And it seems, the more you put in, the more it can hurt when it goes wrong. Some people never put much of themselves in while others jump in yelling "CANNONBALL!!!". It's us cannonballers that are the most susceptible.
It seems the more you care, the more you give of yourself and the more at risk you are for pain. But on the flip side, you are much more apt to have a very rewarding friendship. That's why I treasure long relationships, because there is so much more of me in there! That may seem self centered, but it's not. It's the amount of me I'm willing to expose, to engulf in this relationship.
I believe that God has blessed me with an innate ability to "get along" with people. If you had to classify me, I would be the proverbial "people person". There have been times I've questioned whether this is a blessing or a curse, but I know better. I try to leave a mark wherever I go. If I can leave a smile on someones face, it makes me happy. Trying to leave a bit of happiness. A little bit of myself.