I’ve always been taught to see the good in people. All people. So you might imagine that I am not a good “people reader.” Some people may even consider me naive. I have been caught totally off guard by people who I thought were my friends at the time, and looking back, the “signs” were all there... I just didn’t see them. I’m going to be honest, 9 times out of 10, those people just wanted something from me and took advantage of the fact that I was so willing to invest my time in them.
I am not writing this for pity; definitely not. What good would that do? I’m writing this because although I have been taken advantage of more than a couple of times, I’ve decided to continue to see the good in people. (With discernment of course) I want to be sweet (or in biblical terms, “salty”... ironic lol) and here’s why.
One thing that I’m working on right now is cultivating real, more meaningful relationships, outside of my inner circle. My closest friends and I have great relationships, and I want to have great connection across the board, even with not so close friends. I want to be genuine. I want to tell people how I feel and I want them to be able to do the same. I want to have real conversations other than small talk. So how am I supposed to cultivate relationship if I’m constantly skeptical of someone’s motives? Doubt leads me to shutting down and shutting out. If I’m doubtful of people’s motives, I won’t be able to connect with them on a deeper level.
I sometimes even find myself trying to “protect” my friends from getting taken advantage of. Recently, my boyfriend went over to his new(ish) friend’s house to hang out, and the first thing I said to him was “oh good! That’ll be fun, but please be careful. You don’t know if he might want something from you”. ... I don’t want to be that way! I quickly caught myself; I had already re wired my mind to be skeptical. I don’t want the people I love getting hurt. But THAT'S THE THING. I need to learn how to stay vulnerable. Because vulnerability does not mean weakness. It actually means being brave enough to stand in front of someone with all of my insecurities and my humanity and realizing that it is enough. Enough to be loved for who I am, enough for me to trust myself, and enough to be trusted by other people. (Does that make sense?) I want to keep my flavor in this world that wants me to bland and bitter. Does that make me naive? Perhaps. Does it make me a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, employee and student? Absolutely.