The Painful Journey to Finding True Connections
Hey HerReaders ,
I sit here, fingers tapping against the keys, with a heart heavy from the weight of broken friendships and unspoken betrayals. Let's dive into the raw, unfiltered truth about the struggle to make friends in today's society.
Before I delve into my story, we often witness over social media instances where people are getting killed by their friends, or their so-called friends are being jealous of them. Again, I ask, can we really be true friends in today's society?
I've been burned, and maybe you have too. It's a universal pain, one that leaves scars on you forever. I used to crave the idea of everyone being friends, but reality hit hard. Not everyone has your best interests at heart. I keep learning this lesson in so many ways!
“Beware of those who call themselves friends but sink their fangs deep into your trust.” – Unknown
I've faced secret hate chats started by my ex-best friend, witnessed the whispers behind my back, and endured the pain of realizing that some so-called friends were anything but. Yet, in the midst of it all, a few genuine connections stood tall – women I could truly call friends.
Lately, I have been questioning if I should still be the person I am, going out of my way to help others, because I don't truly feel appreciated. I love seeing the people I consider friends succeed. When I call you a friend, and I see something that could help your business, guess what? I am sending it. If I notice you need help in an area, I am there without any questions asked. However, I feel like I don't receive the same love in return. As I write this today, I can't help but feel unappreciated.
I am loyal to my friends, but what has loyalty got me- Crystal Jordan
“You can’t be loyal to others if you’re not loyal to your own nature first.” ― Tor Seidler
I remember a friend, in particular, telling me, 'They love me, but they could not stand me.' Mind you, I stayed, not realizing that's not what a friend says. Back then, I never understood this, but now I know that true friends don't say things like that about you.
No New Friends?
I believe this saying is so dumb in so many ways. You don't know what blessings you are missing out on if you are closed off to the idea of having a new friend.
I remember first hearing this saying when the song dropped. The "no new friends" mantra never resonated with me. I believe in the goodness of people, in the potential for true connections. Friendships can open doors, speak your name in rooms you never knew existed, and elevate you to new heights.
"Friends can push you out of your comfort zone, helping you become more of the person God intended you to be and opening up a new side of you that you didn't even know existed." - Crystal Jordan
If you've adopted the 'No New Friends' philosophy and are closed off to the idea of forming new connections, you might be overlooking countless possibilities. However, here's the blunt reality – not all friendships are of the same caliber. The common thread in my failed relationships? I cared more than they did. I'd check in, invest time, and give my all, only to find myself alone when I needed support. While everyone was echoing this sentiment all over social media with memes, I personally never resonated with this saying because I personally never liked this saying because I understood this famous quote!
Your network is your net worth - Tim Sanders
I remember expressing to my former therapist, "I don't feel appreciated in friendships. I feel unappreciated and unnoticed." It was during these discussions that I came to realize my struggle with boundary issues, a challenge I am still grappling with today. It's an aspect I'm consistently working on because it wasn't something my parents taught me. Reflecting on it, I understand that they, too, were not taught about boundaries.
The concept of boundaries has become a recent conversation in my life over the last few years. Before TikTok, I never heard anyone discussing it, but now it's a prevalent topic. I firmly believe in its necessity, and as I actively work on implementing boundaries in my personal life, I find myself extending this practice to relationships beyond just friendships. It's a journey of self-discovery and growth, and I am committed to navigating and understanding the importance of healthy boundaries in fostering meaningful connections.
I am always there for everyone, but who is there for Crystal? I remember during COVID, I was calling people, checking on them all the time, but something told me to stop and see if the same love would be returned – and, as you may guess, it was not. I am slowly starting to work on this issue and not check in on people so much.
I can now say that I barely talk to anyone anymore because of this. If I'm not reaching out, then my phone stays dry. I've become accustomed to my own silence and have started to focus more on myself. My phone is always on "Do Not Disturb" (DND), but no one really calls or checks on me. That used to be my role in other people's lives. In 2020, I decided to stop playing that role for everyone else.
Back to the question at hand can you make friends in today's society?
Now, let's be fair. The saying I used to hear growing up was, 'It's not what you know, it's who you know.' So naturally, friends will be in this equation. I always watch who I call my friend. (So I thought)
At a young, tender age, I wanted my friends to be as smart as myself. I did not become friends with kids who were failing because that was not a quality I looked for in a friend.
Personally, I look at people's qualities before I consider them my friends because my grandma used to always say, 'Birds of a feather flock together.' So, this was always in the back of my mind, even as an adult today.
One friendship, spanning over a decade, hit me the hardest. I called her my best friend, but she saw me as a mere associate. The wounds from such betrayals run deep, and the pain lingers even as I type these words. From that point on, I started to distance myself because I had been there through so much – throwing her a surprise party, going on trips, etc. I had known her since 6th grade, so those words ripped my heart out when she said them to me. We were together all the time at this point in our 20s. After she told me what I meant to her I started to slowly fade to the background and remove myself from her life.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Apologies, HerReaders. I need to vent or, in other words, put my thoughts into words because, most recently, my feelings were hurt again. But I'll delve into that in just a moment.
Turning 30 became a pivotal moment. Sensing an unspoken rift with my ex-best friend, I invited her to a therapy session, hoping to mend what was broken. Something felt off, but I couldn't quite pinpoint it. Little did I know, it would conclude with her cutting me off. Months before this therapy session, she had initiated a hate group chat about me, unbeknownst to me.
Mind you, just a month prior, I treated her to a meal as a token of appreciation because she had consistently supported every business venture I embarked on since we have been friends switch is a decade long! After she "cut me off" I felt used why let me treat you to dinner if you knew how you felt and your plans?
The person I spoke to every day, confided in weekly, my once solid foundation, truly harbored hatred towards me. The friend I supported during their times of grief, the one for whom I'd drop everything to ensure their well-being, stabbed me in the back. Despite her apology, which came after I called her out informally on social media, the healing process is ongoing.
However, her apology's genuineness is in doubt because the moment she thought my post might be about her (even though her name was never mentioned), she took the cowardly route and blocked me on every platform. To get her to call me, I had to reach out to her friend and email her. During the therapy session, she uttered words that still echo in my mind, 'Crystal, you are a good friend, you really are, but you can no longer sit at my table anymore.' Those words cut deep, I cried and grieved that friendship for months.
She had a reading that revealed someone who is very supportive and helpful doesn't want you to be more successful than them. She said, and I quote, 'It's you,' and I had multiple readings!
On a side note, this was when I fully realized God was the only way for me during this therapy session. It hit me hard – the realization that someone I would always help, promote their brand, assist with their branding, and pitch their business considered I could never be this type of person. This revelation truly blew me away. I want to see all my friends, especially people in my circle, make it to reach their versions of success.
The person I considered my rock now harbored resentment, leaving me emotionally scarred. I am still healing from this past relationship.
Back to the story, she said that, and I was shocked. I was speechless; she came in with her agenda, and I was not ready for this.
We've all experienced hurt in some relationships – it might not be a friendship but could be with a spouse, a sister, a cousin; I think you get my point.
Recently, I've come to realize that over the last few days, I've positioned myself and operated as a friend in a so many relationships. But in particular, this person has told me time and time again, their belief in that word, having been hurt in the past. Guess what? I have too! Who hasn't been hurt in a friendship or relationship?
I consistently try to push and motivate the people I love. I am the kind of person who expresses love by buying gifts because that's my love language. If I go to the store and buy something for you while I'm there, then guess what – I love you; you are my friend in my head and my heart. After hearing the same sentiment for years, it finally clicked like a lightbulb that stopped working and just started working again after this week.
Seeing something recently right there hurt me to my core. The funny part is, I thought that one day this particular person and I would be friends because I felt we operated like one. Well, I thought! But this was my fault because they always corrected people when asked and said, 'No, we are not friends.'
I would call when I had problems or anything I felt at the time, believing I could call for anything. Again, this is my fault as well – my lack of boundaries, my lack of everything in this situation.
But the worst part of it all was hearing that I was annoying to them, like an ick, and they wished they could cut me off. They officially turned off their feelings and connections towards me because, in their words, it was the best thing for them to do.
Since that day, I have been sincerely working on spending more time by myself, flying under the radar, and avoiding unnecessary issues. It may sound sad, but I am okay. I am trying to deal with it in my own way. I plan to begin journaling and eventually create journals to sell to others.
I started to question who I am as a friend. I'm a friend who loves fiercely, who wants to see everyone win in life. I'll nominate you, pitch your ideas, show up for your kid's events, be there in your time of need, listen to you vent, and network for you. It's in my nature to push and motivate those I love. Yet, recently, I realized the painful truth – not everyone operates with the same definition of friendship. Yet everyone doesn't move how you move.
This hurt the most. But after processing this, I feel like it's my fault yet again because this acquaintance kept telling me what we were, even though I didn't want to believe it or ignore it.
I believe friends are there for each other in their time of need. Friends can call you whenever think of you when they are out, and purchase something for you. Friends pray for each other, celebrate your wins, help with your business, or assist where you might need help. Friends are there when you are down, especially when you feel like the world is against you.
True friends speak your name into rooms they enter because they genuinely want to see you win. At the end of the day, we all have our different versions of what friends are.
The Healing Journey
In the face of these wounds, I refuse to stop searching for my true tribe. The ones who don't just tolerate me but fully accept me. As I navigate this painful journey, I pray for healing and understanding.
Growing closer to God, I seek His guidance to address the changes within me. I won't let the pain turn off my capacity to invite new friends into my life. Instead, I'll be more discerning, choosing connections that align with the true essence of friendship.
So, as I share my open diary with you, dear readers, remember this: Even when someone hurts you, don't shut yourself off from the possibility of finding your circle. Take time to heal, but let the wounds be a testament to your resilience. We will be okay. Thank you for joining me on this emotional journey.