Protect your peace
I often get asked why I don’t socialize with many people. I don’t find it odd or different, it is simply who I am. As a child, I moved around A LOT! My dad was active duty Army, so every few years we moved. I have and probably always will be shy and a bit socially awkward just because it is literally who I am. I tend to shy away from getting really close to people really fast. I take time and watch them interact with others. I was this way as a child. My mom loves to tell this story of me in Kindergarten, while in Germany, she would come to pick me up every day and I would be hanging out with the teacher instead of having free play time with the other children in my class. She finds the story extremely funny because she paid for me to go to school for the purpose of learning to socialize with other children, but that is the exact opposite of what I had in mind.
I carried that with me through all of my childhood and into adulthood. I am that person that smiles when you say hello and I try not to engage in a lot of personal conversation until I have multiple “surface level” conversations and feel like I have a good handle on who you are as a person. And even then, I won’t divulge my deepest darkest secrets. Although, people tend to want to share their entire life story with me pretty quickly. I have been told that I have a very friendly face. Thank you, I think… Anyway, the reason that I am not looking to change the way that I interact with and develop new friendships is because this way, I am able to protect my peace. Let me explain what I mean by that. If I were out here just becoming friends with everyone, I would be guaranteed to eventually have to deal with someone else’s negative attitude and drama constantly. I am not saying that the few friends I have right now don’t go through things, but we are all close enough to understand ourselves and each other and we don’t try to bring each other down.
We know what to expect from each other and we tend to try and uplift each other as much as possible. This helps me protect the peace that I like to have in my life. I know if one of them calls me with an issue, they need me in that moment, but they don’t project their emotions onto me. I listen and empathize and also sympathize with them in most cases and then they plot a path forward and we don’t disrupt each other’s peace. These relationships have been cultivated for years and I have a hard time allowing others into the space that I have because I don’t want to upset that balance that I have found. I guess that it is also a fear of the unknown in some ways as well. Some people are so good at pretending, that they have themselves fooled about who they really are as well. I also use the word friend in very different ways. I have some “friends” that are actually more like family and that is my innermost circle. They are the people that I can speak with freely and they can do the same with me. I also have just friends. These are people that I will talk to, but not share everything with and I tend not to get closer to them and then I have very few people that I just associate with if necessary. These are people that I am not sure if I can trust, but I don’t want to push them away because they haven’t given me a reason to, I just haven’t gotten a good sense of who they are a person.
In my 30 years of life, I have been hurt more times than I can even count, so the combination of that and my overall shy personality, I truly try not to let anyone in to my life that I feel will negatively impact the peaceful space that I have created. You just never know what some peoples intentions are and while I try to keep an open mind and “hunt the good stuff” in everyone that I meet, I have a very discerning spirit and I can often tell a lot about a person in the first few interactions that I have with them. Your peace should always be your number one concern. Think about it this way, if you knew that someone wanted to steal from you, would you let them into your house? No, right? So why would you let them into your life at all? I have worked really hard to gain inner peace, and now with children, it is even more important for me that I maintain that, so I refuse to allow an outsider ruin that. I have learned that there is very little that I can control on a day to day basis, but I know that I can control how I interact with others and what I am putting into the universe and what I allow in my little universe. The world tends to focus on negativity and a constant negative headspace can leave you upset and bitter, so I try to focus on the good things and with that, it means that I don’t allow strangers to invade my peace of mind. It has allowed me to become extremely close to the people that I do have in my life and it gives me the ability to control my own outlook without being tainted by the intentions of others. In every interaction, remember to protect you peace.