Yesterday, I nearly finished a lengthy blog post, but then decided against posting it because it was focused on things that made me sad, which is going against the way I am trying to be. Then I took one piece of that post, and worked on that a bit, but that topic was too distressing. Last evening, as I was reading some article about a prison guard being attacked, I thought about writing a more lighthearted post about jobs I would never want to have. But I never actually put fingers to keyboard. So this morning, after being awake way too early, I decided to write about something more personal but hopefully not so negative: friendly relationships
I am grateful that I have a handful or more of "true" friends who I know like (or at least accept) me for who I am, with all my faults and quirks, and whom I can trust. If I had only one or two of these people in my life, I would be luckily, but (yeah me!) I have more. Next there are those who although might not be the people I
can open up to about everything or always count on in a time of need, they are sincere and care at least somewhat about what is going on in my life. Last there are a number of people with whom I simply exchange pleasantries. The "relationship" is rather superficial, and for various reasons will probably never be more than that. For most people, I think this describes the interaction between many parents as well as between a number of coworkers (people who are, more or less, forced to be together at times). I have witnessed firsthand at some functions where some people go up to others, hugging them and then chatting for lengthy periods of time, while I think about how the one person had just talked about the other in less-than-flattering ways only a few days earlier. Although seeing this can be/has been unsettling to me (a say-it-like-it-is person who tries to be nice), it has helped me put some people from the middle group into the last group, realizing that these people were probably doing the same thing to me.
Is this relationship hierarchy typical? I am guessing more so with women; my gut tells me most men can fit their guy interactions into two categories--their really good friends and everyone else. And I say this as a compliment to men, who tend not to get involved in much drama or popularity contests. This is the main reason why I ate and hung out with three guys at my last FT job.
About a month ago while I was doing lunch duty, I walked by a group of third grade girls who were discussing popularity. One girl said she thought she was popular and another said she knew she was. I am pretty sure I physically recoiled. At third grade, this is what these kids think is important?! I am fairly certain popularity did not come into play for my generation until high school, but that was a lot of years ago, and my memory is not what it used to be. Regardless, this made me think about how important popularity is to grownups. I can tell you it is not important to me. Sure, I want people to like me, and sometimes it bothers me when it seems that is not the case. But I want this acceptance to be based on my being a decent person who genuinely cares about many people (including the kids at that school) and the world around me. I sure as heck don't want or need people to like me because of how I dress, what my hair looks like, how much money I have, the car I drive or house I live in, or whatever else matters to some people. If someone is not going to like me for one of those reasons (or, as likely in my case, because I tend to say what I am thinking and do what I feel like, even if that means standing up for others or dancing around the cafeteria), I am mostly okay with that. Or I am at least trying to be. And please don't misunderstand what I am saying about myself; I know I am not perfect and there are things I can do (and am working on) to make myself a better person.
Do I have an odd way of looking at this? Is this just my world? How would you characterize your relationships and interactions? Do you think young kids today think about popularity more so? Does and should it still matter in adults?
Off to relate to others...