Thursday, May 14, 2009


I’ve never really thought too deeply about my friendships until recently. I would definitely like certain people over others and would be grateful for the friends that I could talk to about what was troubling me or them, but I never really distinguished in my head if I was a good friend, or if they were a good friend. As long as we weren’t mad at each other (which rarely happened), I didn‘t spend much thought on it.

Since I’ve come to Auburn, my relationships consume a large part of my thoughts (with no thanks to Facebook). I can now hang out with anyone I want, at practically any time. At first I thought this was great, I finally get to choose my friends, instead of being forced to be with people I’d rather not be with, but now I’ve realized that this may not be good for me. I’ve begun to think too hard about my friendships, and sometimes get frustrated if they aren’t everything I’ve decided they should be. I go in cycles of feeling great, wanted, and liked, to utter loneliness and feeling as if no one really knows who I am.

Does anyone know who I am? When I’m with my friends, I’ve observed how I ask them questions and listen to them talk, and only add my advice or own stories if I felt the need to. Hardly ever do I feel like I depart with them knowing me better. Again, I used to never think about this. My main goal in conversations was to understand them. I mean, I know all about me! Why would I talk about things that they don’t really care to hear about anyway? And I was fine with this thinking until I fell into one of my cycles. Now I do seem to care.

But first I must ask myself: Is it important for people to know who I am?

I’m led to believe that if people did know me better it would help me feel more understood, and in turn, less distant, but I also wonder if I am being selfish. I’ve been reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis and it warns against having too-close of friendships. “Have charity for all: but familiarity is unwise. …sometimes we think we please others by our presence, when in reality they come to dislike us because of the faults they see in us.” I can definitely see how this is true for others, not all others, but some. When so-and-so leaves everyone says “finally!”, or they talk about how they are so arrogant or whatever. If this is true for others, it is also probably true for me. So not only do people not know me, but they also dislike me! I see where this is going quickly.

Even so, I love my friends and depend on them all the time. I do wish to be closer with some people, and I think that’s natural. I guess what I’m going to try is not building up my friendships in my head. I just need to let them be what they are, and not strangle them to death. I’ll still be there for my friends, but I won’t be so needy and pushy. I don’t know if this will ever happen, but I can pray for it!

Love and peace!


  1. Ruth, your writing is so good. I believe I can relate to you somewhat about friendship. I have had the tendency to develop friendships with others in my head further than they develop naturally in real life. I definitely agree with your conclusion that you should just let them be what they are, and not worry about them too much.

    It takes a virtuous and magnanimous soul to be as true to a person behind his back as one is to his face. We are all in need to grow in this virtue, called simplicity or integrity. Be a good example to others, and pray for those who fail.

    God bless.

  2. Thanks Ross. Yes, I definitely need to bring up what I say about people when they aren't around to the level of when I'm with them! It's a challenge, but a very appealing character trait!

  3. LOOK. Now I can follow you.. creepy huh