“If you believe it will work, you will find an opportunity. If you believe it will not work, you will find an obstacle.”
Gwen and I first met at a breastfeeding group for new moms. She seemed like a nice person, so we talked a lot and eventually became her Facebook friend, but nothing more.
But fate (or just plain luck) intervened months later when they reunited at a mutual acquaintance’s daughter’s first birthday party.
Gwen was the only person I knew at the party (other than the hostess, of course), and I was the only person she knew, so we started chatting. I immediately remembered how much I liked her, and after she told me she desperately wanted to date someone other than her retired next-door neighbor, we We made plans to meet.
We clicked right away. We discussed parenting, politics, relationships, etc. on a really deep and intimate level. I felt like I’d known her all along. And by the end of her first playdate, she had this to say. “I really like you. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to meet you again!”
I felt so happy and fulfilled and our relationship lasted like this for over a year. Our kids were close in age, so we would hang out at each other’s houses, meet on the playground, and do some activities. One time we went to the lake for a few nights and had more fun (and more talking) than we did when we were teenagers.
Then things changed a little. We got busy with each other and lived about 40 minutes away from each other, which made spending time together difficult. Our visits were reduced to about once a month instead of once a week, but we were always happy to see each other.
Or so I thought.
A few months after this shift, we didn’t see each other for over a month. At some point I contacted her and she said she wasn’t available on the days I was available.
Two more weeks passed and we heard nothing. Finally, her birthday was coming up and I texted her and she told me it was weird not talking to her and that I missed her. no reply.
I texted a childhood friend I’ve known for decades and asked what he thought I should do. She said Gwen is probably just busy and I shouldn’t worry about it.
A few days later, I sent Gwen another follow-up text. The content was simply “Hello?” And again I heard nothing.
Every time I thought about this situation, I started to get really depressed. Recently, we are both busy with part-time jobs and side jobs, but I felt depressed and anxious. I thought we would be friends for a long time.
One night, while lying in bed, I told myself about letting go of this feeling. Getting angry doesn’t help, hurting doesn’t solve anything, and I tried my best to reach out to him.
So what do you know? She woke up one day and had an email from her.
“Did you get my message??” I haven’t heard from you at all, so I assume there’s something wrong with my phone, but all the messages I’ve seen lately have been sent to my iPad. rice field. ” I immediately texted her back and found out that the problem had to do with her buying a new cell phone, a technical flaw on her part.
We texted happily back and forth, told her I was wondering what the hell was going on, and quickly made plans for the next week.
When I went online later that day, I saw that she had posted a message on my timeline that was similar to my text. Message me! “
What struck me when I read this was that Gwen had faith. She in herself, in our friendship, and perhaps in her life in general.
I did not do it.
Why did I automatically think she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore just because she didn’t reply to a few messages? Why didn’t I message her on her Facebook, why didn’t I call her, why did I give up?
I just realized this is my pattern. I often looked for the bad in things rather than the good. Look for reasons why things don’t work, not why things work. This was what I needed to change.
Even though what happened with Gwen was about two years ago now, looking back I can see how much I have changed and how much better my attitude has become.
First and foremost, I realized how much my thoughts and outlook affect every area of my life. In this scenario, I could have said something nice to myself instead of assuming the worst. You might be thinking, ‘It’s been a long time, I’m sure Gwen would have missed it too!’ Rather than think she doesn’t want to be friends anymore.
I could and could not control other people’s thoughts and actions, so even if it was true that Gwen didn’t want to be friends anymore, I would automatically jump to the bad side. I could have found things to be grateful for instead.
Thinking about how grateful I was to have friendships when I really needed them when I had young children at home, or how I met people I could talk to so easily, no matter how long the relationship lasted. Both would have been bigger to thank. Tell yourself a positive story rather than a negative one.
Second, I gained more confidence in myself and life. I often had a hard time believing things would work out, no matter what area of life I considered (career, relationships, finances). Focusing on that has made a big difference.
Sure, things can go wrong, but my deep sense of believing that whatever was going on in that moment was going to be okay made a huge difference in my world. If the same thing happened today, I have the confidence to say to myself: “All is well, whatever the outcome, I can handle it.”
Third, we’ve worked to change the “I’m not good enough” narrative that makes us question our worth as human beings. Talk about a recurring theme in my life. Whether I was stressing out about my work performance or worrying about the guy I liked, the “not good enough” story was often repeated in the background. This greatly affected Gwen’s situation. Because I thought I was unworthy of friendship and believed there was something wrong with me.
This is still a work in progress, but it has come a long way. It’s important to catch yourself when you have thoughts like these. It’s also important to remind myself that I’m just making it up and that we all have similar ideas. Getting caught in them makes things worse. Doing positive things for yourself, such as going for a walk or taking a nap, may help your symptoms.
Finally, I tried to stop worrying. About everything. Yes, it’s a tough order. No, I’m not quite there yet, but recognizing my worries allows me to channel them elsewhere.
For example, if you find yourself worrying about a friendship right now, you might stop, take a step back, and ask yourself if there’s something you could do in the moment. If I say yes, I will do it, whether I answer the phone or send an email, but if I say no, I will work diligently to switch my focus. . Worrying doesn’t solve anything, it just drives you into a deeper pit.
It may seem difficult to change deeply ingrained thoughts and patterns, but when you realize that they are making your life unnecessarily difficult and sad, it is worth the effort to change them. you’ll know