Here me out on this one. It’s not another post to tell you how you should live your life, nor am I claiming to know what makes a good person. It’s just about me, like this blog has been from the beginning, and how I feel I should be acting to be more content with my own self. It’s very personal and kind of scary for me to share this list (you can tell by now I love lists), but do feel free to take notes if it resonates with you in any way.
It takes courage to be there for the people around you when you’re deep into your own bubble of thoughts and all you want is to be alone. There are times when I’m at work when I don’t feel like talking to anyone and don’t want to take part in any of the conversations. I know that most of the time when I’m like that, the tiniest little details can get on my nerves and I’m bound to snap at people without really meaning to.
I’ve recently asked a few friends what they saw in me that they could qualify as strengths (I recommend doing this and writing their answers down so you can get back to them when you’re feeling rather down) and all of them said, among other traits, that I was a nice and friendly person. And I believe I am, for the most part. I also know, and that’s the ugly truth, that I can be a bit harsh when uncomfortable. That’s why I want to be a little kinder to people, accepting that they may not understand why I’m not at ease and that they have nothing to do with it.
Be receptive and pay attention
I believe what differentiates friends from acquaintances is whether people show that they care about you or not. And you can often figure this out by the way they listen to you. Being a good listener is a great quality and it’s important to ask people about their lives, to give a follow-up after some time to know how they’ve been doing since the last time they opened themselves to you, showing that you remember what they were saying. Just let them know you’re here for them. I think I’ve been better at doing this lately but if I was already pretty good at listening, it has been difficult for me to ask more questions, to ask about a situation after some time, thinking it was maybe intrusive or not my place to ask.
Complimenting is also something I’m trying to do more often, it doesn’t cost anything and it always makes the person receiving the compliment feel good about themselves so why shy away from it?
Be more open and accepting
Whether it be on the Internet or in real life, I do think we’re globally very quick to judge. With all the means we have at our disposal to show our personality and life nowadays, it’s easy to make an opinion on others.
I’m sometimes guilty of that myself and when I scroll on social media and see a lot of negativity thrown at other people, it makes me realize how much all of it is wrong. No matter how much or how little it has an impact on our own lives, if only we could take others’ point of view into account and try understanding their actions. Asking myself what are their values and where do they come from is part of being more accepting and open to the fact that my truth isn’t everyone’s truth. No one is better than or lesser than, we all have our own set of flaws and qualities, struggles and abilities, beliefs and principles.
Allow myself to be vulnerable
This might be the toughest thing on my list but it may be the most important. In order to make a connection with people, you undoubtedly have to let them in. I know I’ve got an armored outer shell most of the time and it’s no way to live. I want people to get to know me better because I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of really, it’s crazy how your head can make you believe the opposite. It’s okay to share your fears and doubts with people, it’s also ok to let them know when you’re happy about something, it’s not about bragging. You’ll eventually find that people will relate in some way and you couldn’t even imagine that they went through something similar if you hadn’t opened yourself to them. It’s the only way to create bonds between two people.
And that's a wrap for 2017! I wish you all the very best for the new year, may 2018 bring you lots of joy and personal growth.