As human beings, we deal with relationships. It could be the relationship that we have with our parents and siblings, or the relationships we have with friends, or even the relationships with the people we work with. In some form or fashion, we have various relationships with the people around us. This ranges anywhere on the scale from familial relationships to colloquial to professional acquaintances.
Relationships not only come in various forms, but they also come in various lengths. Some relationships are meant to last for a lifetime, while others only last for a very short amount of time. Often times, we invest so much into the long term relationships, that we neglect the short term relationships around us.
Often times, we invest so much into the long term relationships, that we neglect the short term relationships around us.
Sometimes, it’s easy to avoid creating relationships when we “know” that they will only last for a short time. In many cases, this stems from being hurt in the past. We don’t want to pour THAT much of ourselves into another person whom we may never see or speak to again, and run the risk of feeling the pain of them leaving.
Typically, in situations like this, there is always that one annoying person that comes along and says, “well, if you avoid people, because you are afraid of being hurt, the only person you are hurting, is yourself.” And there never really seems to be much of an argument backing that statement.
I’m not here to debate whether or not that statement is true, but I would like to share with you the reasons why I have decided to allow myself to invest in Short Term Relationships.
1. It helps to keep a “Learner’s Mindset”
In order to become the very best that we can be, we need to always have a teachable mentality. One of the best ways that we learn, is by interacting with other people. When we neglect to invest in the people around us, we deprive ourselves of the chance to learn from them. Regardless of who it is, that person has a different life experience than you do, and brings a different perspective into your life, that you hadn’t thought of before.
My closest friends all have very different views from me on many subjects. Even interactions with people whom I have worked with for only a few months, who have come from very different backgrounds than me, have allowed me think outside of the box. I have had to realize that my views are not always the right views, and it allows me to see things from the opposing side.
2. Other people’s personalities allow us to recognize things about our own personalities.
There are always going to be those people whom you meet, who will make you want to be like them, in some way, and there will always be people who make you want to do everything in your power to avoid being like them. This effect is brought out in us, when we interact with other people, even on a very short term basis.
I have met people who I only knew for two months, that had such a profoundly negative impact on my life, that it has shaped the way that I intend to live my life, for the sole purpose that I never want people to be placed in similar situations because of ME. I have had friendships that I thought would probably only last about 6 months, but I chose to invest in them anyway, and now they are my best friends that I have decided will be in life until the day I die. They have no choice in the matter, they are stuck with me forever!! Mwahaha!
3. What I have to gain is far greater than what I have to lose.
Meeting someone new is like starting on a clean slate. This person has absolutely no idea who you are, and you don’t know them. They are just another human being, so who cares if they like you or not? This is the perfect opportunity to test a person and see what they are made of. Can they keep up with you?
Many people wait so long to lay it all on the line for the other person, and they wait until after they are attached to the other person, to reveal their true selves, and then when the other person sees all of their dirty laundry, they run for the hills and never look back. This usually leaves people hurt and in pain.
I believe that this way of thinking is what hurts us the most, because it is a lie that we tell ourselves. Humans are very expression-full beings. We find ways to make our feelings and thoughts known, even if we don’t realize it. Some people use an art form or a journal, others use passive aggressive comments. We are designed to crave relationships, and are therefore designed with the need to express ourselves. We need people to talk to.
We are designed to crave relationships, and are therefore designed with the need to express ourselves.
I had trust issues as a teenager, after other people had hurt me. As I got older, and began to heal from those old hurts, and I decided that I wanted to start letting people into my life. I only had one or two friends, after high school when everyone left for college, and I felt so lonely. I craved deep, intimate friendships with people whom I could hang out with, who would encourage me, and push me to grow as a human being.
A few years ago, I decided to reverse my thinking, and I started laying it all out there for people to see from the very moment they met me. I started believing that it was the very beginning of the relationship, and I had nothing to lose. If they didn’t like me, they didn’t like me, and that was that. At least I found out at the beginning of the relationship, which wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad as finding out later on down the road.
This mindset shift has been incredibly rewarding, because I have been able to form relationships at jobs that I knew were only temporary, and I was able to hear various perspectives, and see what other people thought, and how they reacted.
Humans were not created to go through life in solidarity. We were created to have relationships. Those relationships come in various forms and lengths of time, but if we don’t take time to invest in the people that we may never see again, then we miss out on a huge opportunity to grow and learn from a majority of the population that we come in contact with.
What kind of relationships are you investing your time into?