I form close relationships very quickly. To the extent that I will rapidly become fixated on getting to know someone better, deeper, more intensely. I am fascinated by people and their stories and love nothing better than making a new friend. Though - and I wonder if this is a harsh reality of having two babies close together - when the time came to make new mum friends after my son, part of me thought:
“Haven’t I got enough people in my life that I love?”
(I wonder how many other people feel that friend making fatigue after having a second? Anyhoo, just a thought for another blog another time…)
I am very much the extroverted introvert - I love people and forming relationships makes me zingy, but I need to know I can escape the noise and have a damn good sit on the sofa with the radio on and a cuppa, by myself, responsibility free.
In the last few years however, I’ve noticed that I can be somewhat chameleon-like in my relationships: in order to keep everyone happy, I can chop and change so that everything is harmonious. I can be fabulous, noisy, quiet, hysterical, silly, empathetic, whatever that person needs to make them feel their best. This is a great quality to have as a coach: it’s not always ideal for my own relationships.
I remember reading one of those lovely Pinterest truisms a year ago: this time it really stuck with me:
“If you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, look in the mirror.”
Now as it happened, I wasn’t looking to change my life - but I did want to change some aspects. So what did I do?
- I wrote a long story about how my dream life would look now, in 5 years and in 10 years time
- I wrote down a list of things that didn’t enhance my life, and thought about how I could axe them from it
- I took myself off social media, and listened to the noise in my head, to think about what made ME truly ME.
The result of this has been that all of my relationships - with my wonderful, patient husband, with my crazy kids, with my devoted and incredible parents, my beautiful sister and her partner and all of my lovely friends have been improved. I come to them with the same openness and hope that they are happy, but with the understanding that I can’t force them to be so (well, maybe with sugar and giggles I can with my kids…)
And as for Mr O: we’ve been together since I was 17 and three quarters, during which time I’ve inevitably changed a lot. He’s still the kindest, funniest person I know, and he tolerates all of my whims, impulses, general chattiness and slight crackersness (it’s a word) with love and a smile. I am so lucky.
How about you and relationships? Are you a people pleaser? Do you like making friends or would you rather be left to get on with life quietly and without all that chatting? I’d love to know in the comments below.