Sometimes, not all the people living the life their way right now are actually like what it seems. Take one for example, friendship. If we look at somebody else’s life, especially an introvert who mostly spend his day by being quiet and not have much interaction with other people, compare it with an envy-able extrovert, who has so many connection, and able to build their relationship with so many people, out there in an instant. There is such a huge different.
But like i said before, dont be naive. Maybe it wont be the same as you think it is. I found out that there exist something called The Friendship Paradox (It’s not the paradox as the one explained by Scott L. Feld, btw).
There are people who feel they have fewer friends, even if they have more. Or actually perceived that way. Or maybe there are people who feel so grateful with every friends they have right now, because they keep it small, and keep the bonds even after all their lives. There are also people who are bounded by interest, so they may be even called friends, ‘with benefits’. That’s how my friendship paradox is. I dont know with you but i feel like that. Even though not all our problems are the same. If you ever feel this kind of paradox, that means you are struggling, and i want to congratulate you, you are not alone.
Not all the people able to struggle like that. Keeping up with different environments, and keep being there. Adapt, and then grow. There’s nothing wrong with struggling.
In this kind of age, anything that you are doing on social media easily builds you. When you made people believe that you are sociable, you are. Or you are not, if you do the opposite. I am struggling. I am trying to make friends by being active as much as i could in my college environment, and i met with people who i am convenient with. I think they have the same visions as mine, so it’s nice being with them. I dont think i have that much friends, but i am quiet active in social media. Trying to expose my friends and our activity together. And some of my friends feel that i am really sociable. And honestly i was a bit shocked when they say something like that to me. just because a built perception on social media.
Therefore, in my opinion, society nowadays lacks of Genuine Friendship. Maybe we have our monkey mind louder than our actions, keeping us quiet beyond the wall. We have trust issue in other people, and having troubles dealing with people who tend to talk more than they listen. I was also like that at first. I was insincere, but i was trying to be the most friendly human being on earth. Lol (but it’s true even if you dont believe it). I thought that friendship is just another form of business, because you need connection, and there they are.
Meeting new people and making new friends are exciting at first. It’s like they have so many things to be unveiled. Even the after effect somehow exhausting.
When we meet new people, it’ll be good if we are friendly at first. In my case, I tried my best to have a conversation, a friendly one, by being such a nice person and listen to their stories. So then people will be comfortable around me, and if i am talking with them. But i didn’t share mine, and i was trying not to.
After meeting a new friend, i tend to make a peer group, like some kind of role in uniting people with the same interest and visions. And so, i have quite much peer group for introverts, who struggle.
That kind of action develop me into someone who is ‘seemingly confident’ person, and ‘seemingly have so many friends’ person, for an introvert, who struggles. People who know me well understand if i am an introvert. But then they start to compare my social life and theirs, and saying that they have fewer friends, and trying to keep their circle simple. How ironic, i thought.
The after effect of knowing people more, having social occassions with different people (i don’t know why i am so eager in maintaining empty relationships with anyone that i know), is really, exhausting. It really is.
One day i realized that i never tried to open up myself to anyone even once. I dont have something you called bestfriend, but i do have so many friends. I tend to save my story for my own self, and trying to figure out things also by myself. I don’t like to rely on anybody. And i dont feel that they need to know me, because i also dont actually want to get close to them. I have peer groups, but i dont feel like i was part of them. I dont particularly close to anyone there, and they also barely know me. It is, ironic. (and sad, actually).
I dont have anybody to talk to. I was troubled by myself, and envious with my friend who seemingly have less circle but their friendship is just genuine. I thought it was gonna work well, like maybe i’ll find some kind of connection between me and them.
That is, the friendship paradox.
After all the insincerity and my realization, i tried to put more effort to be sincere. Changing myself and my perception toward others. I tried to be grateful for anyone around me, and be thankful for their existence in my life. I learned that in friendship, there was something beyond loyalty, it is sincerity. In everything, especially in relationship. I become more genuine, and i respect all of my relationship. I tried to slowly open up myself, and sharing my stories. I must admit i am happy to have someone who is actually listen to my story.
Genuine friendship is different. You dont need to be insincere. If you dont like them then you dont need to stay and trying. Especially if being part of something hurts you even more. Accept yourself just the way it is. Dont force things. If you dont really like to socialize and such so don’t.
In the case of friendship paradox, when more feel less but the good news is, if you choose to have less to feel more it’s definitely better. People tend to keep their circle small. Most of the people, i mean, the introverts. But some people may have lots of circles.
If you feel like you are an outcast, it’s also not a problem if you choose to be away. Be with anyone you are comfortable with. Find someone who will truly listen to you. Not all people have sincerity. and stop perceiving things. It’s no use. Try to look for people who has the same interest and visions as yoursself, so that you won’t feel that lonely.
You could try another way. You can have so many circles but keep it small and legit. If i want to share my story about family and my relationship, i have another circle, that goes the same with college problems and work problems. Youth development problems and love, and everything. Mostly they are different but the topic could collide with another. Whatever it may seems, i suggest that shutting yourself out from this world is not good. I dont recommend that. As an introvert who struggles, then, struggles. Trust me, you will eventually meet the people who have the same vibes as yours!.