I can only imagine how many meaningful relationships I’ve missed out on because of my fixation on shoes, instead of the story behind them.
Few will announce their depression to an audience because of the shame associated with any kind of special treatment. That doesn’t mean, however, that such individuals don’t seek empathy and compassion.
When I look at myself on a good day, I don’t search for faults. I see an attractive, funny, smart young woman who enjoys life. But when I look at whatever goes wrong in my life, I see only faults. I see an ugly, stupid failure who ruins everything she touches — even when that’s just not true.
I only learned what “Netflix and chill” meant after I once suggested to a guy I liked that we do so sometime. He quickly texted me back to say that he was shocked by my honesty. “You’re usually pretty shy,” he said. “Are you sure?” I couldn’t understand why he was so hesitant. “What do you mean?” I responded. “I’m only inviting you to watch a movie.”
We’ve all been that rejected person — and it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to know that someone doesn’t want you in their “group” without ever getting to know you. So examine your actions over the next few weeks and ask yourself if you’re rejecting people because it’s easier to do so, or if you truly believe that you wouldn’t be compatible.
It’s normal to feel hurt by rejection, and accepting and learning from it is far easier said than done.
Everyone has to create their own work-social life balance and must, then, make their own decisions about how social integration and interaction plays a role in their life. But they must also remember that friendship, if fostered and nurtured, will help keep them emotionally and physically healthy for years to come.
I used to cry for hours because I said I didn’t know how to make friends. “That’s silly,” my friends would scoff. “You’ve made plenty of friends before.” “That’s true,” I agreed. “But that was before people really started to drink.”
On a campus like Princeton's, where we are all so concerned with grades, internships, and jobs, friendships are yet another source of stress. Who to talk to? How to talk to them? At what event? These questions ran through my mind all of last year. Every time I sat at a meal table with upperclassmen, I silently hoped that they would talk to me. They usually didn’t — they probably didn’t even think to do so — but had they asked me how I was or what I wanted to major in or even what my name was, I wouldn’t have felt that I was sitting at a table for one, full of other people.
More than anything, it was my interactions with the watermelon sellers that taught me about myself.