Friends You Haven’t Met Yet

We have more in common with each other than we do our differences.

Truth be told, we are pretty defensive people. OK – maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re the type of person I wish I was – the kind of person who can, and will, speak to anyone with such ease as if you have known them for years. The kind of person who asks questions because you want to discover so much about someone else and, no matter what topic they discuss, you will follow their conversation because it’s something that matters to them and that’s cool with you. Basically, you are my brother-in-law or his long lost fucking relative. In which case, please stop reading because you just get life and that’s cool. Leave a comment to offer some pro tips…

However, if you’ve a tendancy to be like me – a suspicious, defensive fuck due to a fear of vulnerability – you’re in good company. Welcome. Read on.

I’m trying hard lately to not give into fear because I notice her creeping up in the most mundane of circumstances. She likes to get her snaky fingers in every pie of my life and, quite frankly, a stand needs to be taken. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a reason she’s here; she just wants to keep me safe because she doesn’t want the past to repeat itself. However, there comes a point where she’s getting too defensive and I need to remind her that just because it’s happened before doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. It’s time we made people accountable for their actions instead of tarring everyone we meet with the same brush…

We get hurt by other people. We get stung by betrayal. We are upset by lies. We know the all too familiarity of being let down. However, we mustn’t let that stop us moving on and trusting others. Everyone is different and it’s not fair to judge everyone by the same scruples when, in reality, we were let down by one person. And that one person needs to be held accountable instead of allowing that one person direct our life, cause us to build walls to keep others out for fear that we might get hurt again by someone else like them.

It’s true what they say – there are no such thing as strangers, just friends we haven’t met yet. Most people in life don’t want to hurt others, they don’t want to be that guy, and they definitely don’t go out of their way to be a cunt. The rest of them? Too fucking stupid to realise what they’re doing and how they’re acting affects those closest to them. The small percentage? Probably narcissists.

Truth is, most people in life we actually get on with. Think about all the different situations you’ve been in – all the jobs you’ve had, the countries you’ve moved to, and the university you attended. You were thrown in with a bunch of strangers, and I can bet that you pretty much got on with them, laughed with them, and found the most random shit in common with them. Yeah, they also pissed you off sometimes but that’s just the way of real relationships and it comes with the territory. I can also imagine that some of these people became your closest friends. And it was because you acted from a place of love instead of fear.

Fear causes us to be defensive, insecure, and suspicious of other people’s motives. We want people to be put in boxes so we can categorize them easily, to keep ourselves safe from being burned again, and this makes us feel in control. I know because I am. And it’s not healthy, it’s not fun, people inevitably ‘let you down’ because they don’t fit in the box you’ve made for them, and doesn’t breed joy in your life.

When we act from a place of love, we give people he space to be themselves without our agenda getting in the way. People respond to that. We also don’t let our walls stop people from knowing and loving US. You see, it works both ways. The people you get on with in your work/uni/college/town also get on with you. You’re ok, you know? You’re likeable. You’re fun to be around and people want to be friends with you as much as you want to be friends with them. Because we all, deep down, want to be loved and want to belong. When we act from love, we allow people to see us, too. And there’s nothing more attrctive in someone else as the purity of being vulnerable and trusting with another person. I’d wanna be friends with that guy.

So, in sum, if you’ve been burned in the past by a toxic person – let them go, if you can, and make them accountable for their own actions. Don’t let them affect you to the point where you put up boundaries and walls because, sweetie, there are people out there who need your love and only you can love them because you’ll be on the same wavelength as them. Move from a place of love, not fear. Take down your walls, let the world in, and your life will flourish.

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