How true is this, we spend our childhood learning how to please others so that we can 1) get what we want, 2) get friends 3) grow up. It pleases parents when you learn to walk, read, talk, eat, use the toilet and become well ‘civilised’. More to the point become part of a clan, we are the clan called human, we are bipeds, carnivores, herbivores, mammals to name a few. As parents they hope for their children to grow up, become educated, get a job, meet a partner and move on to begin reproducing this clan and starting the process again.
As teens we become socialized, our parents take us to interact with others and schooling helps us learn to adapt and change to suit the needs of a peer group, those of ones own age or within a close age group. This is where we learn about ourselves, be it good or bad, whether we are friends or foes, mean or nice we become running into the group called adults. Being a teen is not without trials or tribulations you just hope that somehow you get through it and it makes you a better person and helps shapes you into knowing ‘learned behaviour’ when it comes to others.
We hit the skids in Adulthood, it seems time races, nothing is as long as being a teenager, I don’t think. But in Adulthood we establish a network, have relationships, become friends, lose friends and most importantly we are asked our opinion about others. Here is the danger, we jump into the group and we (generally) divide them into male & females, we tell our secrets to our female companions and we tell our stories to our males. Both sexes play a vital role, females become the sisters, the confidants, the keeper of secrets, personal advisors, fashion advisors, friendship makers in our lives, Men become friends, lovers, partners, fathers to our children and honesty speakers (well mine is). The difference is only noticeable when we loose one of these groups or people in our lives.
We spend a lot of our ‘young adulthood’ talking about ourselves in relation to our work, our partner and friendship group. Other people’s opinion of you matters, down to how you wear your hair, who are you going out with? and how you respond to others in the same situation. This can be ego inflating or soul-destroying and many of us don’t identify that emotional vampire in our lives till it’s too late. They are not distinguishable by sex – both sexes are guilty here, it’s the partner who keeps ‘hooking up with others’, it’s the girlfriends who make social arrangements to cancel them on the day / night and the no shows. They devastate you, then if you question them they have a way of turning it to make you feel guilty.
Then as we grow to middle age – these people are easily identifiable and ones from younger years can and should be left behind. I have a couple of girlfriends that every time I see numbers on caller id, I bless the universe for giving me the option of knowing who it is. I will never visit those relationships again. Then there are others who appear as your friends – you may not even know they are peripheral dwellers, suckers of info to take to their networks and speak about you to whoever they like. Normally they come unstuck and it’s hurtful.
I have not been the perfect person in my life and I am sure that may would agree, we have been all and nothing to people with our behavior. I have done and said things I am not proud of but I am part of that flawed group called human. Sorry to those I have offended but please be assured my opinion of you is just that an opinion. If I have an issue with you, I will call to discuss, not put it into the universe, twittersphere or Facebook. I value myself and others enough to respect that, so if you feel I need to explain something I have said or written, I am selfish enough to admit when I write I do it for me, with no thought to others (expect the two not named here – they are also not friended on any social pages) even then I am not vindictive enough to harbor hate. I have grown to move on, so if something affects you that I have written- perhaps it’s your opinion of yourself that has taken a hit, not my opinion of you and if you ask me I’ll explain, not go running to others to make a complaint.
A wise person, my sister Jacqui taught me – email has no tone, it is words on a cyber piece of paper, you are reading more into it than what it is, except if you are doing it in capitals – then you are just SHOUTING.