Someone recently asked me: ‘Does not keeping in touch with my friends so often make me a bad person?’ My response to that was: ‘Absolutely not.’ I had a few things to say about it, because lately, I haven’t been socialising much at all. I’ve been introverting, living in my own world, keeping it to myself. I’ve seen a couple of friends in the last few months, who live nearby, but that’s about it. Not socialising much or seeing my dear friends doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. Of course I do. I love my friends so much. But these days I’m going through a phase in life when I really value being at home, looking after myself and protecting my energy from crowded places which drain me of energy.
I remember years ago, when I was younger, I was trying to keep in touch with everyone all the time. I value other people and their precious time, so I would go out of my way to do so. Whenever I’d found any spare hour, even though I’d be tired, I’d go out of my way and never disappoint. I was doing myself a lot of disservice and at our gatherings my energy would be scattered and I wouldn’t be fully present and myself.
At the time, I held onto an old belief that I have to always go the extra mile to see people, so they would like me and appreciate me. This old belief came from my childhood and teenage years, when I would be happy that someone actually spend time with me. At the time I felt unworthy and insignificant. When I made some friends I wanted to keep them, even though some of them were not good for me. I valued their time and their company, so I would do anything for them. This old belief brought an unhealthy pattern into my life and made me believe that I need to be always available to others.
Later, exhausted and drained of energy, I realised what I was actually doing to myself. I became angry with myself and built barriers around me that made me detached from the reality as much as possible. It got quite bad that all I wanted was to be on my own. The thought of being around people was making me feel very uncomfortable. However, after a while I realised, this didn’t feel good at all. I was craving for the company of others, but this time I had to approach it differently and I never looked back.