Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Sometimes Your Face Just Doesn’t Fit…

October 2, 2016

Sometimes Your Face Just Doesn’t Fit…

You know the feeling – you’re qualified for the job, your application was first rate, you prepped for the interview, it went well. But you didn’t get the job and really what reason was there? Someone who had the slightest of edges, or simply that you didn’t quite fit with that company, that work-place; it’s ethos or something equally impossible to quantify. You’ll never know and all you can do is move on, get over it and start again.

Sometimes, through no fault of your own you simply don’t fit in where you are or where you want to be. This can afflict all parts of our lives and all stages – work, friendships, and of course, romance. It can be horribly upsetting but all too often there’s bugger all we can do about it, other than accept it and move on.

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Remember school– the in crowd, or a group that you wanted to belong to? You hung about on the edges, sometimes invited into the centre but never truly a part of the scene. How many social occasions did you not get invited to, how many secrets were you not privy to? No, you weren’t the right stuff and more often than not, in hindsight, it’s probably a good thing. But at the time not being part of that group was soul destroying. What elusive element did you lack that made you not belong?

Pal's pals@GCSE

Work shifts too – are you really incompetent, unable to do your job or is it that there is something about you that management doesn’t like and they can’t quantify it (or maybe it’s illegal to do so – age, gender, race, sexual persuasion)? Instead you are under-mined, excluded, persecuted or over-looked for promotion again and again: effectively pushed, or even hounded out of your job. There may be all sorts of things you can do to address the problem; work harder, seek advice from your line manager; grievances, your union, legal advice, but in the end you have to face the fact that you can’t beat them, they have all the power and you simply have to move on. If your face doesn’t fit, if management don’t want you you’re better off out of there, before your health, self respect and self belief are battered beyond recovery.

A work-place where your face doesn’t fit is one of the most toxic environments you can be in. So, be smart and move on before it’s too late. But you need to remember that it isn’t necessarily about you – it’s as likely it’s nothing to do with your skills or your ability to do your job. (Indeed, I do speak from bitter personal experience!)

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And let us not forget love. How often has our face not been the right face – not the one that the object of our affection has wanted to gaze adoringly upon? How our hearts have heaved and shattered as we see them gaze upon another in the way we gaze upon them. Oh, how devastating is that! But we can do nothing, we can’t change ourselves beyond recognition to make our face fit just to be loved by someone we love, or think we love. How could that ever result in happiness, in a deep and abiding love?

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Your face not fitting is not the end of the world, although it may very well feel like it at the time. Take the time to step back from the situation, from the rejection because really, that’s what we are talking about. Dealing with rejection is always difficult. The adult in us knows that rejection is a normal part of life, but the child in us is always hurt to the core and wants to lash out or hide away forever more. Neither is sensible.

 

What’s to be done then? Take stock, re-group, move on. When things don’t work out the smart thing to do is to reflect on your own actions or behaviour. Is there something that needs to change, are you approaching things all wrong? What can you learn from this rejection? It maybe something small, something you hadn’t considered before but it could be useful going forward. But it may be something bigger, more troublesome, something that you need to address to avoid future rejections.

It’s always useful to step away from a situation, ask for advice from someone you trust – how much of this rejection is down to you, or down to issues with the other party? God knows romantic rejection is a mine-field so be careful about how much self-loathing you indulge in once it’s clear your face ain’t never gonna fit. Sometimes you have to face the fact that you just don’t have the right stuff for this situation – yes, it is you not them! But, before you get carried away with self-indulgent self-pity, it’s just as likely that there is nothing wrong with you, it is simply the situation.

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Once you’ve had a good look at yourself, accepted the rejection, then you must move on. It’s imperative that you get back on whichever horse has thrown you off. But, if you’re wise, if you’re lucky and read the signals right, you’ll end up in a place where your face fits perfectly. Remember most of us have good friends, a decent job and someone who loves us as much as we love them. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of time and place, not a matter of you having the wrong face. (Images from Private Collection)

Friendship – it always matters

November 1, 2014

When we’re young we need our family, whilst begrudging them a great deal, but we enjoyed and cherished our friends. We seemed to find more comfort with our friends. Remember the old saying, ‘at least you can choose your friends’.

But really, how much choosing happens? Your first friends occur mostly due to proximity and age – the other kids in the street and the kids in your class at school. Did you actively decide between one person or another in acquiring friends, especially in the back-yard? Didn’t you just get out there in the dusky haze of daylight savings and play all sorts of games until your parents called you in?

Pal's pals@GCSE

I know school days and torturous memories tell us finding and keeping friends at school could be a highly fraught experience. It seemed once you found your set, your little group you were fine. Your problems came if you ended up on the outer for some reason, or your little set was too small and when the others were away it was just you and no-one else would let you play. Yes, we’ve all been rejected, had days when we wished the school playground would swallow us whole. We’ve all been chosen last for the teams at school.

And sometimes that happens in life too. Once we leave school and move into the wonders and dangers of the world it can be hard to find your place again. How do you make friends when you’re older, how do you connect with others once the familiar and forced nature of childhood friendships evaporate?

I can think of a range of situations where making new friends is part of the scene and no matter how we may affect cool we all need to connect and belong, we all need friends.

 

Think back, how did you make friends

At school – if you moved around a lot

At university or college

At work – in your first job

At work – in every subsequent job

At home – when you moved as a child, or when you left home and then got a place of your own – do you know your neighbours, are they your friends?

In clubs, or groups, sporting teams

 

I remember standing on the outside, watching people connect and make friends, be drawn easily and readily into an established group. I remember that from uni, from work, from various clubs and activities. I wondered, and I don’t think I ever knew, why some people just seemed to belong, while others struggled to make connections, even though there was nothing obvious in why one and not the other.

Now, I am a person with many friends, from most stages of my life and for that I am thankful and appreciative. I don’t struggle to make new connections but I think that is because I know myself very well, can suss out the sort of person I will find more likely to be my friend, make the necessary investment, but am in no hurry or desperate need to have friends, because, like many people my age, I have enough friends. Perhaps its one of those logical impasses, the more friends you have, the more you can have.

Pal's pals @prom

 

Some simple tips

Smile at people – it shows you’re open to friendship

Take an interest in others, talk to them, listen – remember key things about them

Take others up on their offer of friendship – to do something together

Get involved in activities – simply doing things with others can get the friendship ball rolling

Being prepared to take risks – the person you wouldn’t normally talk to might be the friend you need

Not needing friends – just being part of the scene

Being patient – others want to make friends too

Having friends is important. Having friends means people like you, want to be with you, value you because they want to, not, like your family, because they have to. Friends affirm us in ways that our family can’t, even if they want to, and that’s why friends matter. They tell us we are worthwhile, they want to spend time with us, make an effort to stay in contact, keep our secrets, set us straight on things, love us unconditionally but tell us when we’re being fools. Think of Bridget Jones and her mates, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Elle in Legally Blonde had friends who got her through her darkest hours, The Lord of the Rings centres on friendship, not to mention Friends itself. Yes, the celluloid world confirms the importance of friendship.

Friendship takes time; it grows slowly and needs care and attention. There are often false starts and breakages along the way. It can be a risky business. The loss of a friend can be as shattering as the loss of a lover. Friendship means patience, kindness, resilience, acceptance: working at it. All relationships need work and not necessarily the same amount at the same time – as long as you’re happy, that’s what matters. It’s a lot like love. In fact, it’s more like love than not – just as love is a many coloured, dangerous, terrible and wonderful thing, so is friendship.

It also does not matter for one moment how many friends you have, as long as they are true and real friends. I am not a better or worse person because I have more or less FB friends than you – in fact I might be in a better place because every one of them is someone I know and am happy to call friend. Remember too, you can find friends in your family – sisters seem very good at being best friends and husbands and wives get very fond of saying their other half is their best friend.

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It seems it easier to keep friends once you’ve made them than to make new ones, so perhaps we should take as much care of our friends as our family. After all, we know that friends – real friends – are as important and special as our family. So, cherish your friends, get in touch today and see how they are. Show them you still care, remind them you’re still here, still their friend. (Images from Private Collection)

Friendship – the art of infinite hope

November 18, 2012

I have reached such an age and lived a life such that I have friends across the planet and across quite an age range.  I consider this part of my life to be both essential and empowering. To have friends is to be affirmed, to be loved, to be accepted for who you are. Friends are as important as lovers and family.

Friendship is as much about forgiveness as about sharing and doing things together. We all manage to hurt those we care about, whether through carelessness, or some degree of malice. Being alive, being in relationships means we fall out, we drift apart: we forget why we were friends.

Watch small children, teenagers – what hurts them the most is not bullying (another blog) but when they fall out with their friends. They hate being shut out, ignored or forgotten. Often they don’t really know what’s happened or why – why the nasty comment, the not invited to the movies, the silence in the room?

As a parent the very worst thing is when you can’t mend or fix things for your child, when you can’t make their friends like them again, or explain why they’ve behaved as they have.

 

It’s also one of the mysteries of our own life – why do we fall out with our own friends? Consider the following:

Distance – when we move apart the closeness and sharing we once had becomes difficult unless we’re willing to work to keep the friendship going. FaceBook has overcome this to a large extent and we should be grateful for that but we’ve still got to post regularly and send messages to keep the love going.

Romance – this is a killer! Your friend’s partner (or your own) may not like you, or you them and it puts an enormous strain on friendship. There are ways around this, mainly to do with patience and kindness and a strong desire to keep the friendship going. Remember love is blind – for all of us – and sometimes your friends endure longer than your lovers and even when you do settle down you still need your friends. Being a friend when your friend has a boor or a fool or a bitch for a partner can kill the strongest friendship.

Core beliefs – this is where essentially you do not accord with your friend on a fundamental basis about questions of ethics, morality, politics, religion. If you see the world too differently it can push you apart. You can adjust to an extent but if it is fundamental to who you are, ie you are a confirmed tree loving Greenie and your friend is all for progress and business development then your friendship will fundamentally fail.

Trauma – illness, death, divorce, some of life’s nastier moments rent friendship in two. Sometimes your friends (you?) cannot muster the strength to be there for your friend when they need you most. Seeing your friend struggling through chemotherapy, getting over a stroke, dealing with the loss of a child or spouse can be too hard for some of us. We can hover at the edges, send flowers, bake a casserole, do the garden but when the trauma is on-going as these matters usually are, we need our friends to hang in and not everyone has that sort of stamina. Perhaps they feel that being too close will somehow taint their lives too?

Treachery – a wide and encompassing category. Sometimes our friends let us down so badly, they betray us so deeply it is a treasonable offence. The friend who steals our lover or partner; the friend who chooses the side against us; the friend who smiles with us but gossips about us; the friend who is so charming and beguiling it takes us ages to work out they are under-mining us, telling lies, betraying our secrets and trust. Treachery comes in many shades of crimson.

But sometimes, sometimes we can come back from these things, sometimes the core of our friendship survives. Sometimes, and usually this is after time has passed and the wound has healed with the scar barely visible, we can find our way to let our friend back into our lives. Forgiveness comes in many colours of blue, shade of forgiveness that heal us as well as our friends.

Time allows the pain of betrayal, of being let down to fade, and if we’re lucky the good times of the friendship find their way back to the surface of your life and you can have your friend back again. But perhaps with a more cautious heart… (Images courtesy Google Images)