February 1, 2014

unrequited friendship

it only looks unreciprocated . . . she knows I'm her favorite sister :)

Have you ever liked someone who didn't like you back?

It's called unrequited love.

Just to make sure I was using the right vocabulary, I googled it and here is what I found:

un·re·quit·ed
ˌənriˈkwītid/
adjective
adjective: unrequited
1.
(of a feeling, esp. love) not returned or rewarded.
synonyms:unreciprocated, unreturned;
 I believe it's happened to all of us. You meet someone and think, I totally want to be friends with this person! . . . but they simply don't feel the same way.

Sometimes it even happens after you've been acquaintances or friends . . . after a while, you realize that you are genuinely more excited to see them and legitimately want a closer relationship when they are not interested.

Well, now what?

After you get over the hurt and disappointment of rejection, you can do several things. Or, you could refuse the rejection and just try to win the person over. (I don't think that usually works, though).

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and think . . . this isn't going to work because our personalities are too different (I've been told that I am "too high energy"), maybe the other person is too busy for new friends, etc. etc.

You could write that person off, become bitter . . . maybe you could decide that you don't want to reach out to anyone again. You could shut yourself off and nurse your wounds.

You could become defensive . . . or maybe you could become uber insecure, asking endless "why" questions and try to figure out, "what's wrong with me?"

Underneath all of this, what's really going on? When we feel this way, what's going on in our hearts?

You could call it "people pleasing," "fear of man," etc. . . but don't we all long for the approval of others? I want everyone to like me, even if I don't like them (and why do we feel this way?).

I read a book by Edward T. Welch called When People are Big and God is Small that helps to address this issue.

All of us are trying to fill the void in our hearts, and sometimes we want other people to fill that void. We want to feel loved, wanted, valued . . . and we try to get those things from other humans.

Ultimately, other people cannot hold that weight and power in your life. If you try to find all of your significance and worth from another person, you'll end up sucking the life out of them and crushing them.

Sometimes I feel like I need that person to like me or give me approval . . . but when I do, I am putting them and their opinion of me on a pedestal. I feel like I need them to like me and be my friend. I feel like I need their validation.

But after all, they are just another broken, flawed individual - just like me. What ultimately matters is this - does God approve of me? Does God love and accept me and give me worth, value and significance?

If we find everything we truly need in God, that frees us up to love other people and extend grace, rather than trying to squeeze the life out of them in order to have our needs met.

And what else? We can extend grace to that person who doesn't want to be our new BFF. We can free them from unrealistic expectations, we can let go of bitterness, we can be at peace with the situation. When we are finally filled with God's love, our needs are met in Him and that love then flows out of us to other people. It can be quite miraculous.

4 comments:

  1. I <3 you Say-rah! Well said dear!

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    1. thank you :) and thanks for reading!

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  2. Sarah!~Thank you for allowing God to use you -something I def. needed to hear in the exact right timing!!!!love you so much!!!!

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    1. thanks for reading and I am so glad that it encouraged you!

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