Personal disclosure time: relationships are not one of my strengths. On the Myers-Briggs personality test I split the difference between being an introvert and extrovert. I’ve learned I tend to be more extroverted at work and introverted in my personal life. I’m cautious with relationships. I have several deep relationships with people who I’m extremely close to and have been for a long time. My wife, Lisa and my friend Lee are the two people I’m closest to. There are others that I’ve let get into my “inner circle” and I value those friendships greatly…if you feel you know me pretty well you’re most likely one of those people. I also tend to categorize relationships between my work and personal life. Some have crossed the line and exist in both categories but they are fairly rare.
There are a lot of different people that I view as friends and those relationships are important to me. It’s just that it takes a lot of energy for me to really invest in someone so I am selective about who I’m willing to go “all in” with. Like everyone, I’ve been burned by relationships in the past. Since my personality skews towards being an introvert I tend to be careful about how much I will invest into a relationship.
People who have tons of close relationships are fascinating to me. I don’t know where they get the strength to maintain all the relationships they have. Sometimes I am jealous of what they seem to have. But God made all of us a little different and He did it for a reason. For the most part I’m comfortable with who I am. That doesn’t mean I’m not working at becoming a better person. No one knows better than me how much work I need to do. Sometimes I need to be more patient with those around me. Sometimes I need to stop and listen to someone because they just need someone to take notice and care. Sometimes someone just needs a hug, pat on the back or some other affirmation and if I were to pay closer attention I might be able to recognize that before it’s too late. Sometimes I need to be more aware about what others are going through and just be there to support them.
My point to all this is…well, I don’t know what the point is. It could be I’m just thinking out loud. Maybe it’s because relationships have been on my mind a lot the last couple of months and I’ve realized how much farther I have to go and how much work I need to do to really be a friend to you.